camels of the day 1-3-2020

Today’s picture is brought to you courtesy of the brilliant copyright free digitisation program of the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum.  It caught my eye because it shows the sheer scale of the cameline economy of the silk road at its height.

Grote karavaan met bepakte kamelen en gewapende figuren te paard, by Jan Luyken, 1681

What does it tell us?

Nothing absolutely.  It’s not like it’s a rigorous statistical analysis of camel traffic in a given year.  Or as if Mr. Luyken’s correctly drew to scale or perspective (really, check out the vast camels that appear in the middle and far distance in relation to the tress and to the walls of the caravanserai).  But Luyken is clearly not lying about the sheer immensity in the scene.  It’s a little like the feeling of strangeness and uncomfortable recognition you’d get if you’d never before realised the scale of the motorways your everyday life depends upon.

Like looking at your own veins.

Kigali Traffic Jam by Emmanuel Kwizera via Wikimedia Commons.  CC-BY-SA4

Have a good Saint David’s Day.