June 1, 2011

"Sunday's travel theme here in Rome was death."

"OK, for an anthropologist you have to imagine this is more cheerful than it sounds...."
It is not the distance of time that touches me about these people. I study bones that are tens or hundreds of thousands of years old, distances so vast as to be unimaginable in human terms. Yet the bone persists. The individual is marked in it, and touching her bones creates an immediacy of connection, like traveling through time.


ndspinelli said...

I never was interested in cemetaries until I learned they're a great venue for surveillance. If the subjects house is in view you can sit in a cemetary for hours w/ impunity..you just have to look bereaved if someone walks or drives past you. However, I started reading headstones and became fascinated. And, of course, they're always quite peaceful and quiet[unless they're mowing the grass].

Patrick said...

I've always enjoyed that facet of archaeology and anthropology. Imagining life so completely different and with so few people. Not to say that it was better then - certainly wasn't, but still, interesting.

Fred4Pres said...

Cemetaries have cool stuff. I also liked Gaiman's retelling of the Jungle Book, in the Graveyard Book.

traditionalguy said...

Anthropologists make great theories and publish their guesses as fact. The written histories are where the best facts are found. Rome was once the heart of a civilized world taking full advantage of developing during an actual 500 year long Global Warming that caused a food supply surplus. Will such a Rome rise again? I suspect that it will. But today's food supplies are trending down as serious Global Cooling returns.

deborah said...

Old pictures grab me:


Fred4Pres said...

traditionalguy, while Rome certainly may have benefitted from climate trends at time, Rome was the city state that won control of the Mederterranean. It could have been Carthage, but Rome prevailed in the Punic Wars and as a result was in a position to control the economies of the nations and city states of the Mederterranean. That it happened to be located in a central position did not hurt either. That is why Rome prospered. And it had a decent government and army for the time until the depotism went south after Augustus.

While climate change may have played a role in Rome's decline and fall, it is certainly not the only reason for it. Still, Rome had a good run.

edutcher said...

Considering an anthropologist's work is among the dead, I can imagine there being more cheer for them than the average stiff.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... I traveled through Rome as a young Man - impressive. (and Greece too) . How about this. S.C. Johnson, aka Diversey, was sold today to a bankrupt Chinese holding Company - another proof of technology from the West going to the East - as we collapse. Seal Air is a BANKRUPT holding Company using Chinese U.S. Treasury $$$ to move information from West to East. GOODBYE S.C. JOHNSON. GOODBYE RACINE.


BTW for anyone really interested, I have an old copy of Gibbons, " Decline and fall of the Roman Empire", written in the 1700's - GOOD STUFF.

rhhardin said...

Cemetaries used to be great places to teach tracking, owing to nice grass, large space and low traffic.

You could lay a track, wait a half hour, and then send the dog to find the dropped sock, following the crush scent.

Caretakers have become dog aggressive however ("they may jump on an old person and knock them down") since the Pit Bull hysteria of the 80s. Everybody hates dogs now.

So you're restricted to things like alfalfa fields, which is almost too easy for the dog.

ricpic said...


You who look upon my bones will soon be bones yourself --
The fate inconceivable awaits your precious pelf.

David said...

Wow, here's another blog to bookmark. Well done Mr. Hawks. When the right wing destroys the University, we will spare you.

In facing death there is remembrance of life. A group of us are restoring part of an old, neglected African American cemetery that dates from slave times. There are some headstones of deceased veterans from the 21st Regiment, United States Colored Troops, a South Carolina unit constituted from former slaves. I am trying to reconstruct their lives as much as possible, and for the first man, there is more than I would have thought. Much is missing, but what we can see, and what we can infer from that, is quite remarkable.

Anonymous said...

BIGFOOT likes Cemetaries. We have some Bigfeet down in Cook County, not too far from us. Check out Stan Courtney:


Stan Courtney does a lot of cool stuff, he is also a member of the BFRO. http://www.bfro.net/

Interestingly enough, Cemetaries have become a HOT TOPIC here in Racine http://www.journaltimes.com/news/opinion/editorial/article_1fc50f80-81c3-11e0-be69-001cc4c03286.html

Yep, even the dead engage in illegal behaviour, at least here in Racine.

Here is Bigfoot Cemetary:

When I was young, I was presented with a piece of my Grandfathers' ash, but, didn't take it. Wish I would have.

When my long term friend and Cat, Ricky, died, I buried him outside of my bedroom, at the foot of my bed, so that was he was always there, in his favourite spot, sleeping.

No a fan of Christianity - I find in life there is death, and in death there is life. So, the circle is complete. It works for me.

David said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Synova said...

I feel that way looking through a telescope at the real light reflected from a planet onto my own eyeball.

It's profoundly different from a photograph.

Penny said...

"Blogger edutcher said...

Considering an anthropologist's work is among the dead, I can imagine there being more cheer for them than the average stiff."

Not so sure about that, ed? But it did make me laugh! lol

At least for tonight, I still have more interest in Weiner and Meade "pitching tents" than I do with our hostess building her "anthropological credentials" from Blogger to wherever.

Heavens! It hardly feels right that Althouse should be working "it" 24/7.

David said...


Can you read?

The Sealed Air-Diversey transaction is nothing like what you describe. The seller is Diversey, a Johnson family investment entity that is separate from S.C. Johnson. The buyer is Sealed Air, a publicly held American company, not a bankrupt Chinese company.

Now, if SC Johnson were sold to anyone, let alone bankrupt Chinese, it would be big news.

But you have it all wrong. How did you do that?

Trooper York said...

You know what happens in Florence?

You get rearended by Snookie!

David said...

Trooper, she's hunting down an Italian personal injury lawyer in that outfit.

Penny said...

Heck, no, David.

She's still under contract with reality.

Penny said...

Oops, that entered before I was finished.

Snooki is still under contract with "Bravo"!


And long may that be!

As far as I know, the American public doesn't have to pay for entertainment lawyers.

Penny said...

Now that I think about this...

Maybe Americans should be clapping louder and longer for our "reality stars"?

Anonymous said...

DAVID - I will have to check that out. Is Diversey SC Johnson - or a separate entity entity? Not sure? I do think they bought Waxdale and downtown Racine... let me get back to you.

Anonymous said...

DAVID - Alright - then what did SC Johnson sell to SealedAir? YOU TELL ME.



What's left of SC Johnson? I KNOW A TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER WHEN I SEE IT. THEY DIDN"T PAY 4.3 for some buildings in Racine.

Anonymous said...

DAVID - Even the websites seem so familiar- alike- what- are you acting as a disinformation agent? LOL. 4.3 BILLION - not some puny factories in Racine - a full blown technology transfer. WTF- are you STUPID? I'm NOT. Here is some more- disinformation agent.


YOU GOT SOME READING TO DO - Liar, liar, pants on fire.

gerry said...


I learned a new word.

Great stuff.