Friday, January 23, 2009

Pulo, 5

Besides being a valuable archaeological site, the pulo is also a unique natural habitat. There are a wide variety of plants growing in this basin, some of which are not found anywhere else.
This is a 400-year-old carob tree. Our guide explained that carob seeds grow in pods that can be of varying sizes. Inside the pods are the seeds themselves, and they too can be of varying sizes. However, the core of the carob seed always weighs exactly 0.2 grams and was called "karatos" in Greek. (Remember, Apulia was part of Magna Grecia.) This was used as the standard weight for the "carat," or the measurement system for diamonds.
I find the trunk of this tree to be a fascinating combination of forms, shapes and textures. My family and I see the form of a child sitting in the trunk, with a crown on his head and holding something in his lap. Can you see him?

9 comments:

Mediterranean kiwi said...

really interesting - so carats are related to diamond weights!
i love looking at old gnarled tree trunks too, and this one is a beauty

Mediterranean kiwi said...

when i wrote this message, it was morning. now that it is afternoon, i was given a letter to proofread: you wouldn't believe it, but it was all about a project aimed at revitalising the carob industry, and it mentioned the carat weight of the seed (0.2g to be precise).

a very uncanny experience...

Saretta said...

Wow, now that's a coincidence! :-)

JM said...

Yes, I did see it... after a while! :-) Amazing tree.

Historelli said...

Sara,

Your photos and info about il Pulo was brilliant!! I enjoyed each post.

Have you thought about taking your readers to the cemetery (u camposand) I remember that place being fascinating!

Saretta said...

That's an interesting idea, Historelli! I'll see what I can do...

Walker said...

Love you blog, thanks for stopping by mine for San Diego and letting me know you lived here once. I love you pictures and especially the narrative. Super!!

nobu said...

Interesting.
I can see him, his left eye is big.

Saretta said...

Yes, Nobu! I think he's winking with his right eye!