My evening outing to Bergen’s cultural history museum to hear a lecture about its collection of mummies and the recent CT-scans taken of two of them, prompted yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday and a reminder about an interest I once had: Archaeology.
I don’t get the fascination with antiques. But make whatever the object is old enough – like a couple of millennia – and I am definitely curious. So when the museum offered a lecture on a 3,500-year-old man and a 2,000-year-old woman and their respective X-rays and CT-scans, I was there. (The photo shows the woman’s mummy and her sarcophagus lid; the writing tells us her name was Teshemmin and she was a priest’s daughter.)
The interest has faded but not entirely gone, and at one point I considered majoring in archaeology. I happily took Archaeology 101 in college and enjoyed all the knowledge being stuffed into my head – until I realized that if I really wanted to pursue this subject, I’d have to do field work. Out in the hot sun somewhere, digging patiently and carefully through layers and layers of dirt, millimeter by millimeter, using a little brush to move dust to see if an object is just another rock, or an actual shard from the desired century. And sitting with that little brush, having to be ever so careful, was the one thing I could never imagine myself doing.
So I never took Archaeology 102. I ended up “majoring” in psychology, instead. Y’know, in some ways archaeology was the more psychologically interesting. Archaeology attempts to understand how people thought, felt and behaved through the items left behind: buildings, graves, tools, art. The jackpot for an archaeologist is often uncovering the ancients’ equivalent of the city dump. Imagine what today’s garbage will tell future patient people with tiny brushes about us!