Sorry, Archaeos, I think I may have inadvertently steered you wrong when you asked where Haqar was located. I responded:
Originally Posted by foreverwingnut
The ruins that are pictured above are of Haqar Qim on Malta. Of the dozen ruin sites dotting both Malta and Gozo, this one is said to be the best preserved. I'm not sure if all of the ruins were constructed by Jewish settlers, but this one is believed to have been.
Sorry about my slip there. I meant to say that Jewish settlers built up their own civilization inside existing ruins. Jewish settlers added their own distinctiveness the site by restructuring and adding new buildings. My earlier comment wasn't intentionally in err, just not elaborate. Jewish settlers built onto the ruins, but were not the originators. Much like many Native American sites show the infusion of different societies.
Last edited by Attila the Professor : 06-05-2012 at 05:43 PM.
Reason: Fixed quote tags.
"It puts me in mind of Crab Key in Dr. No:
I wonder if that was the initial intention? To put Indy into one of Bond's first exotic locations?"
This is the kind of presentation that I like to see. Some excellent clues to a possible inspiration for the mysterious island in the novel. After all, James Bond was the inspiration for Indiana Jones. I couldn't help but think that the novel was being written at the same time the movie was being shot, in order that they might both be released at the same time, accounting for a lack of communication between the two fronts who were both working from the original script. Aside from the change of scenery in our island, there are some other inconsistencies. The great stunt of Indy climbing beneath the cargo truck was a spur-of-the-moment idea on-the-set. There is nothing like this stunt in the novel. Maybe the novel would present more clues for us if the author had been kept abreast of the changes on-set.
Location: Neuch‚tel, Switzerland (Canadian from Montreal)
Foreverwingnut, I think you’re misunderstanding me.
1) When I wrote that Malta is “mostly flat with low-lying, rolling hills”, I didn’t mean that it is a sea-level pancake. What I mean is: It doesn’t have any tall, pointy mountains (like the “Raiders” island). Bluffs & cliffs surround parts of its coastline but the overall SURFACE of the island is quite flat. Any difference in ground elevation has smooth, gradual slopes, therefore, its terrain is not identical to the Ark Island (and that is the point I'm objecting to).
2) I NEVER, ever said that Anafi was an inspiration! The only reason that I mentioned Anafi is because it is the closest, real-world location. That said, there are ancient ruins on Anafi (what there origin is, I don’t know) and there are Jewish connections to some of the islands in that area of the Mediterranean. (Lesbos for example).
3) It’s been ages since I’ve read the “Raiders” novelization and my copy is stuck in storage far away. Offhand, I can’t recall anything about Belloq choosing the island because of its Jewish history. Can someone please transcribe the relevant bits?
4) Many of my posts are blunt & direct because I’m not fond of writing long, explanatory, time-consuming essays unless it’s necessary. They may come across as rude but that isn’t the intention. (Your aversion to my style of writing is a rare instance.)
Anyway, Wingnut, I’m off to Italy for a couple of days so I’ll talk to you when I get back. Arrivederci!
3) Itís been ages since Iíve read the ďRaidersĒ novelization and my copy is stuck in storage far away. Offhand, I canít recall anything about Belloq choosing the island because of its Jewish history. Can someone please transcribe the relevant bits?
Here are the references, Stoo.
Dietrich paused before going on: "I find it curious that you want to open the Ark on some obscure island instead of taking the more convenient route - namely Cairo. Why can't you look inside your blessed box in Egypt, Belloq?"
"It wouldn't be fitting," Belloq said.
"Can you explain that?"
"I could-but you would not understand, I fear."
Dietrich looked angry; he felt his authority once more had been undermined - but the Frenchman had the Fuhrer as an ally. What could he do, faced with that fact?
He turned quickly and walked away. Belloq watched him go. For a long time the Frenchman didn't move. He felt a great sense of anticipation all at once, thinking of the island. The Ark could have been opened almost anywhere - in that sense Dietrich was correct. But it was appropriate, Belloq thought, that it should be opened on the island. It should be opened in a place whose atmosphere was heavy with the distant past, a place of some historic importance. Yes, Belloq thought. The setting had to match the moment. There had to be a correspondence between the Ark and its environment. Nothing else would do.
The Frenchman was staring beyond the clearing to a stone outcropping on the other side-a pinnacle some thirty feet high with a flat slab at the top. Into the sides of the slope some ancient tribe, some lost species, had carved primitive steps. The appearance was like an altar-and it was this fact that had brought Belloq here. An altar, a natural arrangement of rock that might have been designed by God for the very purpose of opening the Ark.
He was thinking of the lost tribe that had cut those steps, that had left its own relics scattered here and there, in the form of broken statues suggesting forgotten divinities, across the island. The religious connotations of the place were exactly right: the Ark had found a place that matched its own splendor. It was correct: nowhere else could have been better.
It's not that the island had any Jewish connection, but just that it had a strong sense of an unknown sacred past. Belloq was drawn to it because the location seemed appropriate for the ritual he was going to perform.
The mention of "some ancient tribe, some lost species" with their "forgotten divinities" might also have been inspired by Lucas' references to von Dšniken in the Story Conference. Such a jungle setting with a lost tribe and their strange divinities would, of course, be returned to in KOTCS.
It's all good, Stoo, we're starting to understand one another. I just have to get used to debate on this forum. The problem with debates in writing is that it is so 2-dimensional, lacking any sentiment or expression, and can easily be misinterpreted by others. I was prepared to add some great photos of a fault-line canyon that disects the entire island of Malta, but it's no longer necessary. Stoo and I have presented enough photos to show that the Ark Island is very much designed like the islands of the Mediterranean islands, which is the essence of this thread at any rate. While parts of the mysterious, unknown island in the climax of Raiders was filmed on a set, or superimposed with blue screen or matte painting, or on location in Tunisia, the topography and mystique of what we are shown in the film is very much like these Mediterranean islands. MontanaSmith posted a photo of a jungle island from another part of the globe (South Pacific?) that shows a great contrast when compared with what we see from the island in Raiders. When the production crew of the film agreed to change the island from a lush jungle to a barren island, they must have done their homework to draw inspiration from the actual islands of the Mediterranean. I'd hate to see this thread end just because Stoo and I have exhausted our presentations, so more photos of other Mediterranean islands are still welcome. I would love to see some archival photos of actual WWII German ports in the Mediterranean. Or even some modern-day photos that show the remains of German occupation. Anybody?
I'd hate to see this thread end just because Stoo and I have exhausted our presentations, so more photos of other Mediterranean islands are still welcome. I would love to see some archival photos of actual WWII German ports in the Mediterranean. Or even some modern-day photos that show the remains of German occupation. Anybody?
I found a couple of really great images of Mediterranean islands during WWII.
I don't know which Mediterranean island this is, but it has a great sense of mystery about it. That's a British warplane in the foreground.
Gibraltar at the very edge of the Mediterranean. I love this image because the plane is a Grumman's Goose, which was the plane of my favorite childhood series, "Tales of the Gold Monkey"- an Indy inspired adventure series.
While talking about crazy island options, the Olavsvern Naval Base near TromsÝ in Norway should not remain unmentioned. After all, it sports a secret submarine station, which is now on the market for 105m Norwegian Krone, or £11.3m is you have some spare sterlings around.
Very cool, Archaeos, thank-you! Everyone should take a look at the link. I'm reminded of a time I tried to dig my own underground shelter at age 12, which was in my neighbors overgrown lot. I had a pretty good sized hole started before I got caught. I was inspired by the caverns in The Goonies and Indy films and wanted my own, which surely would have been my own death trap. Good thing I got caught!
Location: Neuch‚tel, Switzerland (Canadian from Montreal)
Originally Posted by foreverwingnut
It's all good, Stoo, we're starting to understand one another. I just have to get used to debate on this forum. The problem with debates in writing is that it is so 2-dimensional, lacking any sentiment or expression, and can easily be misinterpreted by others. I was prepared to add some great photos of a fault-line canyon that disects the entire island of Malta, but it's no longer necessary.
Foreverwingnut, it's good to see you that you're still here! Of the several excerpts from the novel that Montana Smiff posted, this one lends the most credence to your Malta theory:
"You have given specific orders to the captain of this vessel to proceed to a certain supply base - an island located off the African coast.”
Re. Malta's fault line: That has become known as The Victoria Lines because it was fortified by the British during the peak of their glorious Empire. I wanted to visit the Targa Gap area but didn't have time.
Originally Posted by Montana Smith
It's not that the island had any Jewish connection, but just that it had a strong sense of an unknown sacred past.
So my suspicions were correct: The Ark Island didn't have a specific Jewish connection.
Originally Posted by Archaeos
While talking about crazy island options, the Olavsvern Naval Base near Tromsø in Norway should not remain unmentioned. After all, it sports a secret submarine station, which is now on the market for 105m Norwegian Krone, or £11.3m is you have some spare sterlings around.
Nice one, Archaeos!
While not a submarine base, the Germans had large artillery pieces on the Greek island of Leros (not to confused with the island of Lesbos with the Jewish connection) and was relatively close to Anafi. There was a battle there during WW2 which was the inspiration for Alistair Maclean's "The Guns of Navarone" (which is fiction). The novel & film feature a discreet, German military installation within the cliffs of a mountain island:
We all agree now that the Ark Island is a mix-match of several different Mediterranean islands, but- just for fun and curiosity- can we now perhaps fabricate a location for the fictitious island, given the vague criteria in the book? I still hold to my theory that the ruins on the mysterious island were Judaic because Belloq planned the opening of the Ark with exact Hebrew tradition, but this theory is no longer relevant. All we know with certainty is that it is a small, rugged island in the Mediterranean off the coast of Africa with sacred ruins, a hidden base, and a canyon- that's all. I would venture a guess that the fictitious island is perhaps off the coast of Libya, southeast of Malta and southwest of Crete, in the Gulf of Sirte somewhere.