Once again, longtime and loyal Meanderers Susan and Adam have volunteered to lead the Thunder Moon Meander
this month, as I will be attending Joshua & Hiroko's Wedding! For directions, please see below.
On my shelf, I have a book on the excavation of ancient civilizations. It contains all the places you'd expect in a book of this nature published by National Geographic: Sumeria, Pompeii, Angkor Cities, Hittite temple complexes, Jerusalem, and Ceylon. It's curiously lacking in anything from the New World, but then, it doesn't make any attempt at being comprehensive. And with some reflection, it makes sense to keep a limited scope; after all, human history and ancient civilizations is a rather extensive subject to attempt to fit in a single book.
Each of the places described, whether bustling city or temple or fortress, is understood in surprising detail. Archaelogists seem to be able to deduce a great deal from the evidence provided by the ruins. And keeping in mind some great spoofs on this very subject (Like Motel of the Mysteries, by David Macaulay), it's impressive how a potsherd, bronze axe, or even a few grains of preserved barley can tell volumes about a civilization.
While the thoughts and intentions of the Ancients are made clear by their works, the same cannot necessarily be said to be true for our recent forebearers. Working in the crawl space under my house, trying to figure out just exactly what former owners were thinking when they decided to route pipes where they did, or connect the wiring the way they did can be an exercise in non-associative reasoning. Similarly, any computer programmer, lawyer, project manager, secretary, or civil engineer who is called upon to take over an existing system will run into the same kinds of confusing problems. Just what exactly were their predecessors trying to do?
I think that this can only be satisfactorily explained by the theory of Reincarnation. There are more people alive today than ever before, and there are fewer other creatures (like Oxen, sheep, and Dodo Birds for example). Well, I think we can safely assume we know where those souls got reincarnated.
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All misspellings, misattributions, omissions or errors in naming should be construed as Acts of God, directed through yours truly (for reasons at which we as mere mortals may only guess...)