Sunday, August 28, 2005

A window of opportunity

Just stumbled across this article: Return to Cyrene.

American archeologists teaming up with their Libyan counterparts to restart excavations at a Greco-Roman colony founded by colonists from Thera. Thera being the island built around the submerged caldera of a volcano that later erupted, wiping out the city, flooding Crete, damaging/destroying the Minoan civilization, and possibly being Plato's Atlantis and part of the deliverance of the Hebrews from Pharoah's army. I am happy to learn of this resumption of this excavation, considering what has been discovered at other sites with the use of more modern methods, what could be found at the temples of Demeter, Persephone, and the environs could be enlightening. One of the biggests changes in acrheology from past digs to current digs, besides what is mentioned in this article, is a team will not try to excavate a whole site like Donald White tried to with the temples at Cyrene, instead they will excavate certains sections and set about analyzing what is found there while leaving other areas fallow for future generations with perhaps better equipment and methodologies.

I like how the author Mark Rose delicately steps around the problem of why the American team had to leave in 1981 from Libya and why it could return. Lets see in 1981 there was the Gulf of Sidra incident in which two Libyan Air Force Su-22s fired on two F-14 Tomcats of VF-41, the result being two Su-22s going down. Chances of reapproachgment stayed slim to none because of Libyan links to terrorism including the Lockerbie bombing. As to the why of the return, current events show it being Libya's surrendering of its secret nuclear ambitions and renunciation of terrorism after the conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

I look forward to learning what comes from these newest endeavours in digitizing Cyrene and the new excavations. It is extreme hubris of the modern human to think there is nothing to learn from the past or to think they were so primitive. As an example of how wrong this assumption is, one has to look at that humble substance that undergirds so much of the Western world. What is this substance, why it is concrete. It was a staple item of Roman construction but after the collapse of the Roman Empire, it took Europe 1000 years to rediscover concrete. Only a closed mind has nothing to learn from the past.

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