Monday, March 08, 2004

a little bit of history

My sisters constantly poke good-natured fun at my fondness for Discovery and National Geographic features. It all started when Nins noticed my head snapping up one time when she was flipping through channels—it was the drone of a documentary-feature voice that commanded my attention. It doesn’t matter which documentary it was, but more often than not I am drawn towards those that feature historical events, archaeology and paleontology.

Right now I am watching Unsolved History on the Discovery channel. Monday nights are usually sacrosanct for me—I don’t want to jump into the bustle of the week just yet (hangover from the weekend) and it’s Buffy night at well. This current feature is on the history of the medieval (if you could call it that) age of Cambodia, when the Khmer empire under the kings named Javayarman (sp.?) reached its peak. At that time, it is alleged that the capital city of the empire, Angkor Thom, was bigger than London.

I also totally like the idea of Space Imaging Radar, and how it is used to find things long buried under the layers of time. They used this to determine the layout of ancient Angkor, with a great degree of success. I just read about its use in determining the location of Ubar, the kingdom of the Queen of Sheba.

I have no idea why I am fascinated by this sort of thing. I know that this is just a pastime, far removed from my line of work. It’s not that I wish that I were out there excavating—heaven knows I definitely don’t! Neither is it because I want to analyze the errors or lessons of the past. Like mythology,l it’s just something I like knowing, reminding me of the greatness of the past, the fickleness of time, and the ever-renewed glory of humanity.

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