Monday, November 30, 2009

Of Stonehenge & Eternal Earths

I'm gonna mix two subjects here that in some twisted sense could be said to be related, so I'll just pretend they are. Sorta.
First of all I just finished reading an interesting book, a compilation of the worlds greatest archaeological finds (according to the authors) - Unearthing the Past by Douglas Palmer, Pual G. Bahn and Joyce Tyldesley. They've split it up into chapters like "Tombs and Burial Sites", "Cities" and "War" and covers a wide range of finds from the more known ones like Macchu Picchu and Ötzi to less known ones like Sutton Hoo in England and Lake Mungo in Australia (well it wasn't well known to me anyway). It has some nice photographs of each find and each text is well written.
One that especially captivated me was the one about Stonehenge. I mean everyone has heard something about Stonehenge. But have you really ever grasped what it all those stones meant in labor and effort? I hadn't. Well I had in some sense, but still not really.

First of all it's approximately 5000 years old. Some of the stones weigh up to 50 tons, that's just short of what a Sperm Whale weighs! Some of the stones must have been carried (or pulled/pushed) around 300 km to get there. Some think that the great Ice Sheet pulled those stones there but that would mean the people that built Stonehenge used every single of that stone type in a vast area. Which isn't likely. One thinks it has been in continuous use for about 1400 years. Can you think of any one place that has been in use for that long? And that still exists, and is in use in some sense today? I can't, but I would like to hear about it if you can :)

Another thing you really should read more about is Easter Island. Not just because of the really odd habit of putting huge heads all around, but the entire story about how the natives killed the plant life on the island to do it an so destroyed their own civilization. Very fascinating.

On a side note (or totally related!); If you're ever in the need to grind Eternal Earths (dunno why anyone would need that but anyway) I found what seemed to be a good spot to do it. The Maker's Terrace in Scholazar has mobs with a good drop rate of it, they're minable for extra cash and seem to be on a forced respawn. So there's a tip for ya.

Picture is from Wikipedia.

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