It is a truism to state that our planet the Earth is a wondrous thing.
Never mind all the life-threatening 21st Century issues – climate change, deforestation, ongoing destruction of natural habitats, the finite aspect of fossil fuel and other resources, population growth, geopolitical anarchy, the rapid extinction of all sorts of species … ad infinitum – for about the first 4 billion years of its existence, despite the evidence of the Moon and our night skies full of twinkling stars, ‘the world’ seemed to be the start and finish of the human race’s universe.
And to an extent de facto it was because it was so vast that, no matter how far and wide our intrepid adventurers explored over tens and tens of hundreds of thousands of years, there was always plenty more out there somewhere to be discovered and exploited.
But that was then, and now we are where we are.
The factor that I wish to mention today is that the extent to which traces or indeed hard evidence of so much of the Earth’s past – geologically, all the funnily-named periods going back in time, cataclysmic events such as asteroid impacts, volcano eruptions and earthquakes, even the course of human history down the ages – remains.
And also remains to be found.
One’s instinctive first thought is that in modern times – with all the tools that have been at our disposal down through human history– by now we should just about have uncovered everything that there has been left behind by any human civilisations before ours.
It isn’t so, of course.
A more considered view is that, given the size of the Earth and the extent to which humans have trodden its ground and sailed across the oceans that cover threequarters of it, there must be enough still out there to occupy our archaeologists until at some point in the future our own species becomes extinct.
A hundred years ago who’d have ever though that someone would find the apparently intact tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of The Kings, or that one day the melting Alpine snows would reveal the naturally-mummified body – now named Otzi – of warrior who died 5,300 years ago, or that (more recently) the remains of Richard III would be located in an English car park?
These discoveries, and many similar, only point to the fact there is more to come.
Startling wreck-finds in the Black Sea, courtesy from an editorial on the website of – THE GUARDIAN
A report by Phoebe Weston on artefacts that have been discovered on the banks of the Danube, as appears today upon the website of the – DAILY MAIL
A piece by Esther Addley upon a treasure-chestful of early items unearthed as work on the UK’s controversial HS2 railway project begins to crank up, as seen upon the website of – THE GUARDIAN