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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr


Indiana Jones: The Genesis Deluge Indiana Jones
The Genesis Deluge
Written by Rob MacGregor
Cover by Drew Struzan

(Page numbers come from the mass market paperback edition, 1st printing, February 1992)

A skeptical Indy accompanies a small but dedicated expedition to Turkey and the slopes of Mount Ararat to search for Noah's Ark.


Read the May 1927, June 1927, June 21, 1927, Early July 1927, Mid-July 1927, and August 1927 entries of the It’s Not the Years, It’s the Mileage Indiana Jones chronology for a summary of this novel


Notes from the Indiana Jones chronology


This novel takes place in about May-August of 1927.


Didja Know?


The cover painting of this novel (by Drew Struzan) crosses the front and back covers. The citadel seen on the back cover appears to be the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) in Istanbul.
Blue Mosque Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque on cover Blue Mosque
(photo by Pedro Szekely, from Wikipedia,
Creative Commons license)


Notes from The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones


The Lost Journal of Indiana Jones is a 2008 publication that purports to be Indy's journal as seen throughout The Young Indiana Chronicles TV series and the big screen Indiana Jones movies. The publication is also annotated with notes from a functionary of the Federal Security Service (FSB) of the Russian Federation, the successor agency of the Soviet Union's KGB security agency. The KGB relieved Indy of his journal in 1957 during the events of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The notations imply the journal was released to other governments by the FSB in the early 21st Century. However, some bookend segments of The Young Indiana Chronicles depict Old Indy still in possession of the journal in 1992. The discrepancy has never been resolved. 


The journal as published skips over this adventure, going from a reference to 1926 events in The Seven Veils to 1933 and the repercussions of events in The Philosopher's Stone. Quite a large gap and a number of un-journaled adventures.


Characters appearing or mentioned in this story


Sergeant Vadim Popov (dies in this novel)

White Russian lieutenant


Nicholas II (mentioned only)


Bolshevik sergeant

Bolshevik captain (probably Dr. Vladimir Zobolotsky)

Leon Trotsky

Indiana Jones

University of London students

Deirdre Jones (mentioned only, deceased)

Colonel Percy Fawcett (mentioned only)

Miss Wilkins


William Pencroft

Jack Shannon

Rita Jenkins

Professor Victor Bernard (mentioned only, deceased)

Mr. Shannon (Jack's father, mentioned only, deceased)

Harry Shannon (dies in this novel)


Katrina Zobolotsky


Benny Boy


Blackstone receptionist

Boris Kaboshev (dies in this novel)

Alexander Kaboshev (dies in this novel)

cab driver

Chicago policemen

Nest bouncer

Jerry Shannon

Nest waitress

Mrs. Shannon (Jack's mother, mentioned only)

Mrs. Harry Shannon (mentioned only)

Harry Shannon's kids (mentioned only)

Willie "The Lion" Smith
Sonny Greer

Vladimir Zobolotsky (dies in this novel)

Blackstone desk clerk

gambling room bouncer

gambling room waitresses



Henry Jones, Sr. (mentioned only)

Johnny Torrio (mentioned only)

Al Capone


Ambrose Hinton



Ismael and Jela's infant son (mentioned only)


Ismael's friend in Istanbul (mentioned only)

Vladimir Roskovitsky (mentioned only)

Roskovitsky's co-pilot (mentioned only)

Jack's former fiancé (mentioned only)

Dr. O'Malley's secretary

Dr. Anderson (mentioned only)

Dr. Marcus Brody

Grace (mentioned only)

Hansel (German Shepherd dog of Shannon family, dies in this novel)

Gretel (German Shepherd dog of Shannon family)

Mrs. Zobolotsky (Katrina's mother, mentioned only, deceased)

trolley passengers

Julian Ray (mentioned only, deceased)

Turkish boy

Sekiz (Turkish boy's sister, dies in this novel)

Hasan's men

Alfin (blind man, Sekiz's grandfather, dies in this novel)

Dorian Belecamus (mentioned only, deceased)

Madelaine (mentioned only)

Marion Ravenwood (mentioned only)

sultan (mentioned only)

Janissary Corps (in flashback only)

harem girls (in flashback only)

eunuchs (in flashback only)

valide sultan (in flashback only)

elderly woman at Mevlevi lodge (Sekiz's grandmother, dies in this novel)


Turkish policemen

British couple at Istanbul train station

Turkish cab driver


Ahmet's cousin in Ankara


Mustafa (Janissary cook, dies in this novel)

Cappadocia peasant (dies in this novel)

Hasan's lieutenant


Noah Indiana Shannon (mentioned only, not yet born)


Didja Notice?


The book opens with two quotes, one from Epiphanus (sic) of Salamis and one from archaeologist Frolich Rainey. Epiphanius of Salamis (c. 310–320 – 403) was a bishop of Salamis, Cyprus, an ancient Greek city now marked only by ruins. Though I am unaware of this exact quote, he is known to have claimed that remains of Noah’s ark were still on display during his time in the ancestral lands of the Kurds (areas of present day Turkey). Frolich Rainey (1907-1992) was an American anthropologist. As far as I can find, he never said anything in particular about Noah's Ark.




The prologue takes place in October 1917 in Petrograd, Russia (now Saint Petersburg).


Sergeant Popov is a Bolshevik with a captive White Russian lieutenant. The Bolsheviks were a radical Marxist faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party, founded by Vladimir Lenin and Alexander Bogdanov. The Bolsheviks would go on to become the Communist Party of the Soviet Union during the October Revolution of 1917. "White Russia" was a term used for the Russian State, named for the White Army, that opposed the Red Army of the Bolshevik Revolution in the Russian Civil War of 1917-1923.


Before his capture, the unnamed White Russian lieutenant was on his way to see the czar. The "czar" of Russia at this time (actually emperor) was Nicholas II (1868-1918).


On page 5, a Bolshevik sergeant says, "Shloosayu. I am listening." Shloosayu is Russian for "I am listening," though the word is usually spelled slushayu.


Arriving at the command post with his prisoner and the document bag the man was carrying, Popov meets Trotsky. This is Leon Trotsky (1879-1940), a Russian Marxist who became a leader of the Bolsheviks along with Vladimir Lenin at this time.


The photos in the White Russian's document bag are said to be of Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat. This is a reference to the Biblical account of the flood and Noah's Ark and how Noah gathered a male and female member of every species of animal, loading them onto the ark two-by-two in order to repopulate the world once the flood should recede. Mount Ararat is a mountain in modern day Turkey which is said in many of the mythological stories to be the final resting place of the ark, though in scientific circles, the existence of the ark in the first place is considered unfeasible.


Chapter 1: Celtic Trappings


As the chapter opens, Indy is teaching a class in Celtic ogham at the University of London. Ogham is a medieval Irish alphabet.


The names and representations of the ogham letters Indy gives on pages 10 and 13 are accurate.


As Indy mentions on page 10, Holmsdale is an area of the county of Surrey, England. The derivation of the name (and that of Sherlock Holmes) may have been the ancient English name for "holly", "holm", as Indy remarks to his class here. Sherlock Holmes is the legendary fictional detective created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) and appearing in a large series of short stories and four novels.


On page 10, something is making Indy want to forget about the ogham letter D, duir. This is related to the seeming witchery put on Indy at the end of The Seven Veils to forget about the Lost City of Z he was in in the Amazon jungle. The D in particular is probably related to the fate of his late wife, Deirdre.


The ancient Celts are believed by some to have also used hand gestures of the ogham letters to communicate silently with each other, as Indy remarks on page 11.


On page 12, a student asks if the ogham hand signals are still used by the druids who go to Stonehenge.


Also on page 12, another student asks if some druids traveled to the Americas and set up a colony there a long time ago. This was seemingly the origin of Colonel Fawcett's so-called Lost City of Z in The Seven Veils. Colonel Percy Fawcett (1867-1925) was a British explorer and archaeologist who disappeared in the Brazilian jungle with his son Jack and Raleigh Rimell in search of the lost city of Z.


On page 16, Indy picks a book off a shelf in his office titled Buried Treasures of Chinese Turkestan. This is a real world book by German archaeologist Albert von Le Coq, but it was not published until 1928 (our current story takes place in 1927).


On page 19, Indy recalls discovering the Omphalos at Delphi, Greece and later learning of the relic's connection to Stonehenge. These events took place in The Peril at Delphi and Dance of the Giants.


On pages 19-20, Pencroft talks to Indy about Professor Bernard's report that was extremely critical of Indy's work at Tikal. Indy was in Tikal, Guatemala at the ruins of an ancient city called Yax Mutal, of the Mayan civilization, with Bernard and some archeology students at the beginning of The Seven Veils.


At the end of the chapter, Indy turns down Pencroft's offer to work on translating Goidelic manuscripts from the second century B.C. As remarked in the narrative, Goidelic (Gaelic) is an old Celtic language.


Chapter 2: Lookout


    The opening of this chapter describes London in the days of Chaucer as a one-square-mile village surrounded by a Roman wall. This is a vast oversimplification, as Chaucer lived in the 14th Century A.D., when the official City of London, sometimes now called the Square Mile, existed as described, but greater London already existed around it as well, a differentiation between London and the historical City of London. Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340s-1400) was an English writer best known for The Canterbury Tales.

    The villages and other areas of the London region mentioned here are accurate.


The poems of John Keats (1795-1821) mentioned on page 23 are actual poems of his.


Page 23 reveals that Jack Shannon's father died "a year-and-a-half ago", apparently from a gunshot wound incurred as a result of his occupation as a gangster. Jack moved back to Chicago to help his family as a result.


The letter from Jack that Indy reads on page 23 is dated May 2, which would inform us that it is May now.


In his letter, Jack tells Indy he is currently performing jazz at The Nest at 35th and State streets in Chicago. The Nest was an actual jazz club at the time.


Page 24 reveals that Indy had presented a paper on Celtic influences on New England at a conference on Celtic archaeology in Dublin last winter. There he had met Angus O'Malley, chairman of the archeology department at the University of Chicago. O'Malley appears to have been a fictitious member of that faculty.


On page 26, Jack's brother Harry and some hoods guard the alley entrance to their club with tommy guns. Thompson submachine guns were often known as a Tommy guns during the gangster era of the 1920s-1930s.


On page 26, Jack thinks about the flappers who spent time on the dance floor doing the wicky-wicky-wacky-woo. In the 1920s-30s, "flapper" was a slang term used to describe young women who dressed and behaved in a manner that flaunted the societal norms of the time. "Wicky-wicky-wacky-woo" probably refers to the 1928 jazz song by Harry Warren and Mort Dixon called "Nagasaki", which featured the lyric, "Back in Nagasaki where the fellows chew tobaccky, And the women wicky-wacky-woo!" The nonsense phrase of "wicky-wacky-woo" also appeared in at least a couple earlier songs, 1916's "Oh! How She Could Yacki Hacki Wicki Wacki Woo" by Arthur Collins and 1923's "On the Isle of Wicki Wacki Woo" by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn.


On page 27, Benny Boy arrives at the bordello next to the Nest in a Packard. Packard was an American luxury automobile manufacturer from 1899-1958.


Chapter 3: The Nest


As the chapter opens, Indy's train pulls into Chicago Union Station. It is located at Jackson and Canal streets, just as stated here.


Page 30 states that Indy has not lived in Chicago for eight years. But in the PopApostle altered chronology it has been only six years, to account for what was later established of Indy's college career in Chicago episodes of The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (see The Peril at Delphi for further notes on the revised chronology).


Indy checks in at the Blackstone, an upper-crust hotel at Sixth and Michigan in Chicago. In the real world, the Blackstone is located at Michigan and Baldo Drive (possibly Baldo used to be called Sixth?).


Page 33 states that Kristina had been living in San Francisco for the past six years.


On page 34, Indy hears a news report on the radio about a still discovered a block from City Hall in Cicero.


    Another news report is about Charles Lindbergh's historic flight from New York to Paris. Charles Lindbergh (1902-1974) was a famed American aviator who made the first nonstop flight from New York City to Paris, in 33.5 hours, just as stated in the report. As far as I can find, Lindbergh did not say he "felt as if he were not alone in his airplane" during the trip, helping to keep him awake.

    The reporter says it's been two and a half weeks since Lindbergh's flight. The flight ended on May 21 in Paris, so it is now about June 7-8.


Page 36 states that the first talking movie, The Jazz Singer, starring Al Jolson, had just come out. In the real world, the film wasn't released until October.


Page 36 describes the times as both the Jazz Age and the Roaring Twenties. The Jazz Age is generally considered to cover the 1920s-30s, while the Roaring Twenties covered only the 1920s up until the Wall Street Crash of October 1929.


Before arriving at the Nest on page 36, Indy's cab passes the Dreamland Cafe, Paradise Gardens, the Elite No. 2, LaFerencia, and the New Monogram Theatre. I have not been able to confirm LaFerencia as a real club, but the rest were all real jazz clubs in Chicago at the time.


When Indy enters the Nest, he reflects that it was similar to the bohemian boîtes in Paris. Boîtes is a French term for "nightclubs".


On page 38, Indy thinks of Chicago as the Windy City. "The Windy City" is a nickname for Chicago, earned through its reputation as the windiest city in the U.S., much of the weather due to the city's location on the shores of Lake Michigan, one of the Great Lakes.


Sitting down at a table in the Nest, Indy orders a Coca-Cola while listening to Jack play a rendition of King Oliver's "High Society Rag" on cornet. Joseph Nathan "King" Oliver (1881–1938) was an African-American jazz cornet player and bandleader. He wrote

"High Society Rag" in 1923.


Jack introduces his bandmates tonight to the club audience as Willie "The Lion" Smith on piano and Sonny Greer (all the way from New York's famous Rhythm Club) on drums. Willie "The Lion" Smith (1893-1973) was an American jazz and stride pianist. Sonny Greer (1895-1982) was American jazz drummer and singer. The Rhythm Club was an actual Harlem club from 1920-2006.


On page 40, Jack reveals to Indy that he and his older brothers, Harry and Jerry, own the Nest.


On page 41, Jack is surprised to hear that Indy is staying at the glamorous Blackstone, remarking that Hoover stayed there when he was in town. Herbert Hoover (1874-1964) was an American politician who was the United States Secretary of Commerce at this time and would become president in 1929.


On pages 41-42, Indy and Jack reminisce on the prank they'd played on Founding Fathers Day at their old alma mater, University of Chicago, of hanging effigies of George Washington, Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, and Benjamin Franklin in the quad of the campus. These men were all founding fathers of the United States in 1776. The prank was detailed in The Peril at Delphi.


Chapter 4: Night Affairs


Page 50 mentions a couple of Tiffany lamps decorating the bordello. Tiffany lamps are lamps with a camed glass shade designed by decorative arts designer Louis Comfort Tiffany and his Tiffany Studios from about 1893-1920. (Photo by "the_adverse_possessors" on Wikipedia under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license.)


On pages 51-52, Jack explains to Indy that his gangster father had been shot and killed by the syndicate for refusing to join it and remaining independent. After his father's death, Jack's older brother, Harry, took over the family business, however, he had no choice but to join the syndicate, run by Johnny Torrio. But when Torrio had left the picture and was replaced by his chief lieutenant, the Nest's liquor running became a sore spot and the feud was renewed. Torrio (1882-1957) was an Italian-American mobster who helped build the Chicago mob of the '20s. Torrio's chief lieutenant was the notorious Al "Scarface" Capone (1899-1947). Indy previously had some "minor" dealings with Torrio and Capone in "Mystery of the Blues" (and had also met Capone in his youth in The Metropolitan Violin).


Chapter 5: Visitors


Busted by the police at the bordello and sitting in jail, Jack tells Indy they're lucky it was the police and not the capos who got them. "Capo" is short for the Italian term caporegime, a leadership position in the Mafia.


Quizzing Jack on his newfound convergence to religion, Indy tells him, "Just do me one favor, Jack. Don't ever try to tell me that the world was created six thousand, eight hundred, and twenty-three years ago on a Tuesday morning," and Jack jokes, "Wasn't it on a Thursday morning?" They are referring to the estimation of James Ussher, the Church of Ireland's Archbishop of Armagh from 1625-1656, who calculated from various references in the Bible that the creation date was October 22, 4004 BC, by the Julian calendar.


The details Indy gives Jack about Assyriologist George Smith (1840-1876) on pages 60-65 are accurate, though Indy's questioning of Smith's sanity is disputable. What Indy doesn't mention is that Smith's translation of a pre-Hebrew Flood account is the Epic of Gilgamesh, one of the oldest works of written literature, dating from as far back as 2100 BC.


When Jack asks if Smith is the one who found the "dictionaries" that allowed the translations of cuneiform, Indy corrects him that it was Rawlinson. This was Sir Henry Rawlinson (1810-1895), an army officer of the British East India Company and Orientalist, who copied Behistun cuneiform inscriptions in Persia and realized that they were the same texts in three official languages of the empire: Old Persian, Babylonian, and Elamite, thus allowing a piecing together of a reading of the cuneiform script, similar to the Rosetta Stone in the decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs.


When Jack expresses amazement at Indy's vast knowledge of historical facts, Indy counters that it's not as amazing as Jack's own ability to pick up a cornet and make music. Indy seems to have forgotten his own ability to play the soprano saxophone, as retroactively shown in the Young Indiana Jones episode "Mystery of Jazz".


Again, on pages 65-66 Indy has forgotten he's met Al Capone before.


Chapter 6: The Gospel Truth


Jack mentions that Dr. Zobolotsky had been planning to give his talk about his search for Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat at a Lithuanian church on Wood Street. Wood Street is an actual Chicago street not far from the Nest's location.


On page 71, Ismael reads an article about Dr. Zobolotsky's upcoming talk on Noah's Ark in the Chicago Tribune.


Jack's church is the Gospel Chapel of New Life. This is a fictitious Chicago church.


At the church, the choir sings "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore". These are both African-American spiritual songs from the 1800s. After this they sing "Hammer, Ring", an African-American work song from the 1800s.


Page 78 mentions the Russian Orthodox Church.


    On page 78, Zobolotsky tells his listeners that his regiment was assigned to guard the Aratsky Pass in Russia from Turks, who were allied with the Germans, during the war. As far as I can tell, Aratsky Pass is a fictitious location.

    Zobolotsky relates that while he was there, a pilot named Roskovitsky flew over Mount Ararat and when he returned claimed to have seen a great wooden ship near the top. Zobolotsky is referring to Vladimir Roskovitsky, who allegedly told such a story after his service in the war, but it has since been largely refuted...including testimony by some that the name "Vladimir Roskovitsky" was fabricated for the story as it appeared in the 1940 article "Noah's Ark Found" in an issue New Eden magazine.


On page 79, Zobolotsky tells that he just longed to return home to Harbin whenever the war should finally end. I'm not sure what he is referring to by "Harbin", as there does not appear to be a town by that name in Russia. There is such a city in China, but no indication in the novel that Zobolotsky was from anywhere but Russia.


The expedition to the top of Ararat described by Zobolotsky is probably based on an article in the Russian magazine Rosseya by a former Russian soldier, Alexander A. Koor, about an alleged December 1917 expedition ordered by the tsar he claims to have heard about in 1921.


Listening to Dr. Zobolotsky's story of finding Noah's Ark on Mount Ararat on page 81, Indy muses about Moses writing the story of Noah in around 1475 BC. Moses, of course, is one of the major figures of the Abrahamic religions. It is generally believed by scholars that Moses wrote many of the books of the Old Testament somewhere around the 15th-13th centuries BC.


The song about Noah the congregation sings on page 83 appears to be fictitious.


Jack gives Indy a ride back to his hotel from the church in a Model T. The Model T was a Ford automobile, manufactured from 1908–1927.


Chapter 7: The Reflecting Pond


On page 86, Indy crosses Ellis Avenue to reach the University of Chicago. The university is located at 5801 S. Ellis Ave.


Page 88 reveals that Indy's grades as an undergraduate at U of C were not particularly good. It wasn't until he entered graduate school (Sorbonne) that he started getting A's.


On pages 88-89, Indy learns from O'Malley's secretary that the professor he's supposed to replace for summer classes was fired for making advances at the girls in his classes and fixing their grades if they cooperated with what he wanted. Indy reflects that ever since Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise was published, there'd been controversy about the morality of college coeds. This Side of Paradise is the debut 1920 novel of famed American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. The book is about the lives of young American students at Princeton University.


On page 92, Indy walks to the university's Botany Pond, wondering if students still often refer to it as the Reflecting Pool. Botany Pond actually does exist at U of C, but is not generally thought of as Reflecting Pool by students as far as I can find.


At the corner of Fifty-seventh and University, Indy looks at Mandel Hall, a large theatre building at U of C that also houses the student union. Mandel Hall is an actual building on the campus near the intersection of these two streets.


On page 94, Indy continues his walk, turning on Woodlawn and recalling a girl he'd met while a student there, Grace. Woodlawn Avenue is another street near U of C.


On Woodlawn, Indy sees a house he thinks he would have liked to live in, one designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Frank Lloyd Wright (1867–1959) was an American architect and designer. The house Indy is pondering here would be the Frederick C. Robie House, built in 1910.


On page 95, Indy visits the Oriental Institute on the corner of 58th and University. This is a real world research center at this location, now more formally known as the Institute for the Study of Ancient Cultures, West Asia & North Africa.


On page 96, Indy eavesdrops on Dr. Zobolotsky and his daughter as they speak Russian to each other. Indy reflects that he had learned some Russian words and phrases when he had spent a few months in Russia when he was a kid nearly twenty years ago. This could (retroactively) be considered the time he spent there in "Swore and Peace" in 1910, though it's possible it's a reference by the author to Princess of Peril, a junior novel published in 1990 (though since that book takes place in 1913, it would have fit better if Indy was thinking "nearly 15 years ago" instead of 20).


The translated text of the cuneiform writing Indy reads off the ancient stone tablet in the Oriental Institute on page 97 is from an actual translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, describing the loading of the ark of Utnapishtim (the epic's earlier version of Noah). The Anu mentioned in the translation is a mother goddess in Irish mythology.


Chapter 8: Bullets


Dr. Zobolotsky is said to be an associate of the New Russia Movement (NRM), a group of czarists who want to end the Bolshevik reign and return to the czarist past. As far as I can find, there was no movement by that name at the time, though there were counter-revolutionaries who desired to topple the Bolsheviks.


On page 104, Boris thinks of religion as "the opiate of the masses". This is a paraphrasing of what Karl Marx said in 1843, "Religion is the opium of the people."


On page 105, Indy cuts through Jackson Park and passes the Palace of Fine Arts, a building constructed in the Greek Revival style for the World Columbian Exposition of 1893. The Palace of Fine Arts is an actual building in Jackson Park, built just as stated. The building now serves as the Museum of Science and Industry.


From the narrative description on page 105, it sounds like the Shannon house is on Cornell Avenue near 55th street.


The Shannon family car is a shiny, luxury Cadillac.


The Shannon family guard dogs at their estate are German Shepherds named Hansel and Gretel. Hansel and Gretel is the title of a Brothers Grimm fairy tale about a young brother and sister menaced by a child-eating witch in a candy-and-cake house in the forests of Germany.


Chapter 9: Flaring Passions


Katrina has had occasional precognitive or clairvoyant visions since she was a child.


On page 123, Lake Park Avenue is an actual road in Chicago.


Chapter 10: The Getaway


Page 132 states that Indy had told Jack about Julian Ray and Victor Bernard, who had tried to stop him from tracking down Colonel Fawcett in the Amazon. This, again, was in The Seven Veils.


Chapter 11: Life in the Bazaar


Chapter 11 opens two weeks later, in Istanbul. Indy was previously in Istanbul/Constantinople in "Travels With Father", The Secret City, and "The Wolves".


On pages 140-143, a number of Turkish words are spoken.

bu nedir=what's this
tessekur ederim=thank you
turkce bilmiyorum=I can not speak Turkish
gunaydin=good morning


From New York, Indy, Jack, and the Zobolotskys had bought passage on a ship to Athens, Greece.


On page 143, ouzo is an anise-flavored aperitif popularly served in Greece.


On page 143, Indy and Jack recount their previous time spent in Greece a few years ago. This refers to the events of The Peril at Delphi.


    On page 145, Indy and Jack head for the Covered Bazaar. This is an actual Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, one of the oldest and largest covered markets in the world, established in 1455 and dedicated to Mehmet II (1432-1481), a.k.a. Mehmet the Conqueror. The market is comprised of 61 covered streets and over 4,000 shops. Though there is a sense of organization as to where to find certain types of products/shops in the bazaar, I am unaware of it being quite so specific as a street selling nothing but used Korans or another street exclusively selling portraits of Mehmet the Conqueror as stated in the novel.


On page 146, Indy recalls having once visited Istanbul as a kid. This is likely a reference to the aforementioned The Secret City, a junior novel published two years before this one, in 1990. He visited the bazaar in that novel, too.


On page 147, a cobbler at the bazaar convinces Indy to purchase a boot with a blade that pops out when you twist the heel. Indy seems very impressed by this. He previously had a similar boot given to him for an undercover assignment in Germany during the war in "The Fokker Agenda".


The cobbler tells Indy he could add the heel blade option to his boot, "Before you can say Ali Baba." Ali Baba was the protagonist of the story "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" from the Arabic story collection One Thousand and One Nights, believed to have originated around the 8th Century AD.


Hasan takes Indy and Jack to a restaurant on Kahvehane Street. This is an actual street within the Grand Bazaar.


Indy says, "Tessekur ederim," to Hasan after arriving at the restaurant. This is Turkish for "Thank you."


Chapter 12: Aya Sophia


Indy's explanation of why the name of the city of Constantinople was changed to Istanbul is roughly accurate.


The changes that Indy describes Mustafa Kemal making in Turkey after the fall of the Ottoman Empire are accurate. Indy met Kemal when the man was a general in the war in 1918 in "The Wolves".


As stated on page 152, Turkey was once part of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire, 330-1453 AD).


Indy and Jack cross Sultanahmet Square and see the Aya (Hagia) Sophia church in front of them. In The Secret City, Indy and Herman toured the church.


The description and history of the Aya Sophia on page 154 is accurate.


On page 155, Katrina points out a mosaic of Empress Zoe and her husband in the Aya Sophia. Zoe Porphyrogenita (c. 978-1050) was empress consort and later empress herself briefly of the Byzantine Empire.


On page 157, Hasan says, "We are guided by Allah." "Allah" is the Arabic word for "God".


    On page 158, Indy pulls out his .455 Webley. This may be the same gun he was given by Carl in Dance of the Giants. As stated in that study, ".455 Webley" is actually a designation for a British handgun cartridge, not a gun itself. The handgun that was given to Indy by Carl may be a Webley "WG" Army revolver, which he is seen to carry in The Last Crusade and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

    Indy continues to carry the .455 Webley throughout the Indiana Jones novels.


Chapter 13: Cocoon of Pleasure


Indy and Katrina are captured and taken to Cappadocia. This is not far different from a similar situation in The Secret City, where Indy and Herman were captured...and taken to Cappadocia! In the former book, Indy knows all about the Cappadocia region, but here he's bewildered! Maybe it's due to the drugs his captors knocked him out with! In The Secret City, Indy accurately described to Herman how the strange rock formations of the region formed through volcanism and wind and rain erosion. (Cappadocia image from Wikipedia by Benh LIEU SONG, shared under the GNU Free Documentation License.)


On page 168, Indy uses the f-word twice, with Indy saying, "Fuck the Sultans, and fuck you!" Later printings eliminated the passage. According to author MacGregor, the elimination came from George Lucas himself, with the directive that Indy doesn't swear.


The Bible passages that inspire Jack to search for Indy on pages 169-170 are actual passages from the Bible.


Chapter 14: Cappadocia


On pages 174-175, Indy has hallucinogenic visions brought on by the morphine/belladonna cocktail that has been injected into him. He sees Dorian Belecamus, Madelaine, Marion, Colonel Fawcett, and the Lost City of D. Belecamus and Madelaine appeared in The Peril at Delphi. Marion is Marion Ravenwood, whom Indy met in between novels in 1925 (and is later reunited with in 1936 in Raiders of the Lost Ark). Colonel Fawcett and the Lost City of D appeared in The Seven Veils.


On pages 175-181, Indy recalls a time when he was a boy when he and his father visited a sultan at Topkapi Saray as his father was seeking an ancient manuscript related to grail lore. This is a previously untold tale from Indy's life. Topkapi Saray (also known as Topkapi Palace) is former residence of the Ottoman Sultans, now a museum. He also visited the place as part of his secret mission for the Allied Forces of WWI in "The Wolves".


On page 176, young Indy sees members of the Janissary Corps. These were members of elite infantry units forming the household troops of the Ottoman Sultan and were considered the first modern standing army in Europe.


Page 178 reveals that Indy had idolized Sir Richard Francis Burton as a youth. Burton (1821-1890) was a famed British explorer and writer who was pretty much exactly as described in the narrative.


On page 178, Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan.


On page 180, the old woman introduces herself as the sultan's mother, the "valide sultan". "Valide sultan" is a Muslim term meaning "legal mother" and is a title held by the mother of a ruling sultan.


On page 182, Sekiz leads Jack and Dr. Zobolotsky across Galata Bridge spanning the Bosphorus River. Galata Bridge is an actual bridge in Istanbul, though it is not quite accurate to say it spans the Bosphorus River. Galata Bridge spans the Golden Horn, a major waterway off of the Bosphorus.


On page 183, Sekiz takes Jack and Zobolotsky down Galip Dede Cadesi and through a door marked Galata Mevlevi Tekkesi. Galip Dede Cadesi is a street in Istanbul and the Galata Mevlevi Tekkesi is a lodge of the Mevlevi Sufi order, commonly known as the "whirling dervishes", formed in 1273.


Alfin's statement to Jack that Galacians from Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) journeyed to the British Isles in the distant past and were known as Celts is roughly accurate.


On page 185, tekke is a Turkish term for "dervish lodge" and sema is a Mevlevi ceremony involving chanting, singing, and dancing.


Alfin's declaration that the Janissaries are members of the Bektasis Sufi order is correct. It is also true that Cappadocia is the center of the Bektasis order.


Alfin tells Jack and Zobolotsky that Islamic teachings say that Noah's Ark will be revealed by God on the Day of Judgment. As far as I can find, there are no such Islamic teachings. "Day of Judgment" itself is a reference to the foretold judgment of God upon the people of the Earth believed in by the Abrahamic religions (also referred to as the Last Judgment, Final Judgment, Judgment Day, etc.).


Alfin tells Jack and Zobolotsky that in Cappadocia they will find a house with three peribacasas and that is where they will meet a man who knows where Indy and Katrina are. Peribacasa is Turkish for "fairy chimney".


Sekiz tells Jack that Cappadocia is south of Ankara. Ankara is the capitol city of Turkey.


On page 189, Boris reflects that if they can kill the Zobolotsky party on the way to Ararat, their disappearance will probably not be a surprise to most, as there are many dangers in the region, both from wild animals and Kurdish warriors. The Kurds are an ethnic group of the mountainous region of Western Asia, many of them historically nomadic. After the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the breaking of the 1920 Treaty of Sèvres to create a Kurdish state in the region, many Kurdish revolts against the Turkish government took place.


Chapter 15: The Janissaries


The underground city Indy and Katrina wander through below Cappadocia is basically real. A number of underground cities, all connected by miles of tunnels, exist, built over the centuries to hide populations from the violence of rival civilizations and empires since around the 8th Century BCE. Indy and Herman explored another such city there in The Secret City, though again, Indy doesn't seem to remember it here!


On page 204, Indy and Katrina find a fresco of St. George painted on a wall of the underground city, seemingly a remnant of medieval times when Christians hid in the tunnels. St. George relates to an 11th Century legend about George of Lydda, a Roman soldier who is one of the most venerated saints and martyrs of Christianity, who is supposed to have slain a dragon.


On page 205, Indy remarks to Katrina that his father wouldn't take him to see the underground cities when he was in Cappadocia as a youth because his father was claustrophobic, not liking confined places. This is the first we've heard of this phobia of Henry, Sr.


Also on page 205, Indy and Katrina find rough sketches of a fish and an ark on another wall of the tunnels. Indy tells her the fish represents the Son of God and the Ark stood for the judgment of God and hope of salvation in Christianity. This is true of the fish symbol, but I've not been able to confirm anything about an Ark symbol.


Chapter 16: Underground Cities


On page 209, Ahmet drives Jack and Zobolotsky into a valley near the town of Göreme.


Ahmet explains that the troglodyte homes in Cappadocia are carved from tufa, a soft volcanic rock. "Troglodyte" is a popular generic term for a caveman or -woman. Tufa (more properly called "tuff", as tufa is its own variety of limestone) is rock made of ash ejected from a volcanic vent into water which then solidifies over time.


On page 211, Omar tells Jack and Zobolotsky that the underground city of the Janissaries is near Derinkuyu. Derinkuyu is an actual ancient underground city in Cappadocia, now an historical tourist attraction.


On page 213, Hasan tells the Russian twins that his blade is made of Damascus steel. Damascus steel was the forged steel of the blades of swords smithed in the Near East from Wootz steel and were shatter resistant and acceptant to honing to a sharp edge. 


On page 221, Omar recognizes where he and his companions are at in the tunnels when he spies three connected circles on a wall, representing the Trinity of God. The three circles are probably the Borromean Rings. The Trinity of God in Christianity is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.


Chapter 17: Death Game


No notes.


Chapter 18: The Shaft


No notes.


Chapter 19: On the Mountain


After escaping the Janissaries, the expedition spends several days on the road to Mount Ararat, passing through Kayseri, Sivas, Malatya, Adiyaman, and Kahta. At Kahta, they stay at a temple on a mountain called Nemrut Dagi. These are all actual locations heading east from the Istanbul region of Turkey. While at Nemrut Dagi, Indy examines the number of large statues known to exist there around what is believed to be a royal tomb from the 1st Century BCE.


    After Nemrut Dagi, the expedition moves on through Sanliurfa, Mardin, and Diyarbakir, where Indy examines ancient walls and mosques. These are all actual towns and cities in eastern Turkey. It doesn't make a lot sense that they would travel to these places, particularly in this order, as it is far from the most direct route to Mount Ararat! Diyarbakır is known for its ancient city walls and mosques.

    Next, they travel through Bitlis, along the southern shore of Lake Van to the cities of Van, Agri, Dogubeyazit, and Eli, before beginning the climb up Mount Ararat. Again, the order of towns and cities seems to leapfrog east and west nonsensically.

    "Eli" is the Kurdish name for the city known more commonly in the west as Batman. Yes, Batman. Batman is the capital of Batman District in Batman Province near the Batman River. It is also the home of Batman University. The Batcave is also located in Batman (it's kind of disappointing though; see photo below from Google Maps, location Pazaryeri, 72060 Batman Merkez/Batman, Turkey).


As stated on page 253, Agri Dagi is the Turkish name for Mount Ararat.


Mount Ararat is made up of two peaks, Greater Ararat and Little Ararat, as stated on page 254.


On page 259, Omar shouts, "Dikkat! Dikkat!" This is Turkish for, essentially, "Attention!"


On page 260, Ahmed shouts to the Kurds chasing them with attack dogs, "Merhaba!" and "Lutfen kopegi tutun." This is Turkish for "Hello!" and "Please hold your dogs."


Chapter 20: The Final Ascent


No notes.


Chapter 21: Hark!


The expedition seemingly does find Noah's Ark, but it gets pushed from its perch on the mountain by an avalanche and may have been broken up into pieces.


On page 287-288, Indy has another vision (as he has had in the three previous MacGregor novels), this time of Noah, though it is hinted that "Noah" is yet another of Merlin's identities. Merlin, of course, is the infamous wizard of Arthurian legend. Indy "met" the mage in a vision in Dance of the Giants.




The epilogue takes place a month after the end of Chapter 21, with Indy about to interview for a position with the archeology staff at a university in New England.


Indy says goodbye to Jack and Katrina at Grand Central Station, where the couple are heading for San Francisco. It seems the couple has either gotten married in the month since the ark adventure or they are planning to marry soon. Katrina tells Indy she sees a son named Noah Indiana Shannon in her and Jack's future.


Katrina makes a gift of the wood piece from Noah's Ark to Indy. Indy tells her he knows just the museum director (presumably Marcus) who will find a place for it. This implies a piece of the actual Noah's Ark soon rests, presumably on display, at the National Museum.


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