Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tales of the Strange

Photo courtesy the Smithsonian

This photo doesn't look like much. As an archaeologist I understand its profound meaning. I'm used to walking the earth looking for abnormalities, things not made by nature, but by humans manipulating their environment for their survival, livelihood, and entertainment. My eye is trained to catch patterns that don't usually occur naturally, I can spot a (likely) human shaped stone from all the other random naturally shaped ones that scatter the ground as I walk.

This photo is from 1978 and was taken from the air as a plane traversed Siberia with a geological expedition in the vast remote wilderness. They were looking for a place to land. Those lines look like a fingerprint to me. Those patterns stood out to the pilots who were astounded to see what looked like human agriculture. In the middle of nowhere, Siberia. What they found was pretty amazing, and to me pretty sad. To me the younger children in the story were raised practically feral and suffered Stockholm Syndrome. I plan to get the book Lost in the Taiga by Vasily Peskov.

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