Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A Few Words on Things We Haven't Discovered

By Kristin

A few days ago on the History Channel, I watched the beginning of a program about the discovery of a previously unknown pyramid in Egypt. A point I found most exciting was how recently it had been discovered. Only in recent years have scientists been able to enter the site because it is located in one of Egypt’s military zones. All that remains of the structure is the stone base, creating uncertainty among archaeologists as to the state of the pyramid’s construction; It may have been started and abandoned before its completion, or it was finished and later torn down. This monument would also add a great deal of history to rulers of the 4th dynasty and priceless information about the other pyramids and their importance. Although I only lasted through the introduction of the introduction of the program, due to the pressing matter of a movie needing to be watched promptly to be able to return it by midnight, I thought of a few questions to consider. If such a large structure is only now coming to light now, what other marvelous places have yet to be discovered? Are there cities, castles, monuments, even documents, books, letters that have yet to be discovered? As anyone interested in history can attest to, finding such pieces of history is the high point of research; the discovery of something new that can add to our history and help us paint a picture of our identity.

The adventure of discovery can be chronicled through out the record of human history; the search for the Fountain of Youth, El Dorado, the Holy Grail, Atlantis. And there are countless Hollywood recreations of these discoveries and countless others; The Mummy, The Fountain; Indiana Jones, et al., 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. Retelling stories about fantastic discoveries is exciting and often inspires others to pursue finding lost worlds. But what about the things we don’t know are lost? What about civilizations that are buried so deep, that they won’t be discovered until we move mountains? I wondered, as I popped in the DVD of John Adams (an interesting HBO mini-series that I hope to comment on later), what the next great discovery would be. Has everything been found? The answer to the latter question is obviously no as proved by the newest addition to the Pyramid Family. But how will it be discovered?

I ramble on about this only because the thrill of discovering something new has always been of great interest to me. I hope that others may be inspired to pursue discoveries, large or small.

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