October 16, 2018

Archaeology Part II

Revisiting the subject of archaeology, there was a time long, long ago...tens of thousands of moons that have waxed and waned over desert sands...when many archaeologists went ahead and did massive digs and excavations on their own in foreign lands without necessarily asking permission or getting proper licenses to do the work...and then took back home all the findings and treasures for their home country to be displayed in dark cavernous museums with dim lighting and where footsteps echoed in the hallways as hushed tones spoke of great findings and stories were told of their uncovering...however, countries began to tire of their artifacts and treasures being pilfered so they began to restrict digs so that the home countries itself were not stripped bare of their artifacts...the British Museum came to an agreement with the country of Egypt as they did their exploration for ancient Egyptian artifacts, such as mummies and alike...some of the findings were shipped to the British Museum in London, many on a rotating basis meaning that they would be displayed for a specified length of time but then returned, but many others found their way directly into the museums of Cairo and other cities across Egypt and the middle east for locals to learn about and admire...natives in many of those countries where archaeological digs were performed, grew angry that many of ‘their’ artifacts and indeed history, was being plundered by the outsiders...other people resented any digging up of any artifacts by strangers and claimed that the land and that which was under ground was sacred...and that’s where the paranormal comes in...in ancient Egypt for example, there was said to be curses that would strike anyone who dared to disturb the tombs of pharaohs and the mummies contained within...many people laughed at such an idea, but some people did die mysteriously giving rise to their authenticity...this spooked many and caused them not to return to the digging sites, but not the ‘men of science’ who continued their work, often in hot and dusty places that were inhospitable to those who were working there...many places around the world are considered sacred by the native people and they have acted in the courts and through other means to stop such digging activity...some findings that were sent off to other countries have been repatriated to their ‘home’ country or the ‘home’ country has been compensated by other means...others are still locked in a bitter dispute with differing points of view as to who should ‘own’ the artifacts...while this cantankerous issue presents enormous challenges and roadblocks to fieldwork being done, cooperation between the parties has had its benefits too...for all parties involved...tribal elders and locals who cooperate with visiting archaeologists can prevent the excavation of sacred areas and sites, supervising the sites while the archaeologists work, while the archaeologists can benefit from the elders knowledge in locating places where ancient findings can be found, understanding, and interpreting these finds to put the puzzle together...by working together, every boy, girl, woman and a man...both sides can benefit.