Athens

Located in Greece, Athens would have been a short walk from the fertile crescent. We know that a lot of early civilization, the development of grain crops and animal husbandry happened 10,000 years ago in the two rivers region that drained into the Persian Gulf. There are a lot of rivers in the region, but the ancient lore of the Tigris and the Euphrates combined with a Persian Gulf where ocean levels slowly rose combined to create a great marsh region that made irrigation easier and supported a large population of early civilization.

There are always people coming and going. Humans that migrated north could cross Turkey and find themselves in modern Istanbul. In today’s world, Istanbul is on two continents, with part of the city connected to Turkey and the Middle East, and the other side connected to Europe, still a part of Turkey. It is thought that the land bridge that separated the two sides of Istanbul broke around 5,600 BC and the Black Sea region flooded with water from the Mediterranean Sea.

In 1997 a bunch of nutty professors from Columbia studied the Bosporus Straight and came up with the idea that the Black Sea flooded in a kind of recent time. They proposed that over the course of 300 days, the sea flowed into the valley of the region now under the Black Sea and they first said they thought this happened 7,200 years ago.

At any rate, the people that were crossing the land bridge had crossed into Greece, where human remains have been found that are 7,000 years old, even older. Scientists study the Cave of Schist, where also they think some of the evidence could be 11,000 years old. It could be that heavy rains tended to wash stuff into the cave, and a great deal of evidence is found from all over the valley near that cave. While everybody looks at the Acropolis when they visit Athens, some overlook the fact that below that hill lies an interesting geology of what is called tectonic caves.

The cave network in a schist region collects a lot of rainwater. Rain washes evidence of civilization down hill. But more recent civilization is also documented about Athens. After 2,000 BC the area was dominated by the Mycenae and they were always fighting with the Dorians and the Ionians. In the end, the Ionians must have gotten the upper hand, as later the Athenians referred to themselves as ‘true Ionians’ and we know that history is always written by the victors.

Socrates, of Bill and Ted fame, was born is 470 BC and lived until he was around 70 years old. According to legend, Socrates met his end when he drank poison, his sentence at trial for saying nice things about Sparta. The conflict had come about as the Athenian culture fought with themselves about a sustainable form of government. Socrates had talked about the positive things in democracy. It is widely thought that two crimes were identified, corrupting the minds of the youth and impiety. The impiety charge might indicate that a clique of holy men were behind the charges and ultimate execution.

So Socrates drank Hemlock and died. Some still argue as to whether he committed suicide or was sentenced to death. But we still have the Socratic Method, which was adopted by Plato, as Plato did the most to document the life and death of Socrates. Plato, it might be argued, was the first great journalist, using the tools of written language for the first time to write about stuff without a big holy bend to the story.

Plato and Socrates developed the dialectic method of asking questions to figure out moral underpinnings to situations. In the ancient world the notions of right and wrong had more to do what the powerful man said to do than it did any sense of morality.

The Gods of ancient Greece were Athena, Poseidon, Hermes, Zeus, Aphrodite, Hera, Artemis and several others. They did not hand down a written morality, as we might see in contemporary Hebrew culture of the first millennium BC. In this way, we see that like pyramids, we have different cultures hurtling towards the same things while worlds apart.

Aztec Pyramids of Japan

The Yonaguni Monument is a massive underwater geologic oddity near the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. A natural phenomenon, it is nonetheless held up be some who search for Atlantis as proof of a sunken city. Several features of the rocks boggle the mind as how nature could have been so clever.


 Pyramid of the Sun – Mayan?

An area with strong currents, divers nonetheless enjoy the waters for wildlife watching and scuba diving. Rock formations documented by film in 1997 by the Discovery Channel made a strong case for the possibility that the formations were pre-historic man made occurrences. Made of medium to very fine sandstone and mudstone deposited 20 million years ago, features were filmed that were quite remarkable.

The Turtle is less than 20 ft below the ocean surface at it’s top and is approximately 500 ft by 100 ft in size. Sharp edges and parallel faces lead divers and even scientists to wonder if these square angles and uniform extents of rock were cut by hand.

10,000 years ago sea levels were 75 feet lower than today, leading some to believe that the sandstone was cut in ancient times. Still, this would predate the construction of the Pyramids, or Stonehenge, both major works of stone cutting, by 5,000 years. Still, around the Ryuku islands are tombs and artifacts made of stone thought to date back at least 2,500 years, suggesting that magnificent stone working capabilities existed in the Japanese province thousands of years ago.

Anasazi vs Hopi vs Pueblo cliff dwellings

When it comes to cliff dwelling Native American tribes, much is made of the Anasazi, but they may well be mostly a legend, and less of fact. The best evidence of cliff dwelling is Cliff Palace in Mesa Verde National Park located in Colorado. Built 1000 years ago by ancient Pueblo peoples, it may have been also a gathering point for a larger cultural reach, including mud brick communities around the Mesa Verde area. The site seemed to be abandoned within a few hundred years.

Anasazi or Anaasazi is also a term to describe the Pueblo people of 1000 years ago. A term meaning Ancient peoples it is unclear how to differentiate what we call Anasazi from the general Pueblo lineage. But a common thread also emerges with the Hopi term Histsinom meaning Pueblo Ancestors. However another translation of Anasazi is ancient enemies, begging one to wonder if today’s Pueblo are an amalgamation of Hopi and Pueblo, once enemies, but sharing the mud brick technology of the four corners regions and later intermingled due to larger forces.

Often in the conversation of cliff dwelling people a less genuine term emerges, surrounding the tourist town of Manitou Springs. Here Anasazi means ‘old tourist trap’ where they at first claimed that their cliff dwellings were real, later that they were moved from actual cliff dwellings, but now it is pretty much accepted fact that they just re-created this cliff dwelling thing as a tourist trap that they call a museum. They purport that the stones were taken from actual cliff dwellings near Cortez, Colorado and re-assembled more than 100 miles away in Manitou Springs. To this day, many say they are lead to believe that these are real cliff dwellings, and not a cheap replica. But it has a gift shop, that you can be sure of.

Further south in Hopi land are the Gila Cliff dwellings. Located in New Mexico est of Las Cruces little is known of the inhabitants, but this thing is way up in the clouds. Between 5,000 and 7,000 feet above sea level, you hike an hour to see these authentic ruins. Tree ring evidence has been gathered to positively identify construction around 1275 AD. 

Quail and Pheasant

I-In the natural community, whenever a population’s food supply increases, so does its number, and visa versa. If you wanted to increase your number what would you do? s-Kill off whatever else is eating your food. Right, and this is considered holy work by the Takers. Kill off everything but your food supply and your food supply’s food supply. You end up with a community in which every other species is systematically exterminated in order to support the expansion of your own. You also end up constantly worried about how to feed an ever expanding population. I-What does Mother Culture say about this? s-Mother Culture says that it is possible to increase the food production without increasing the population.

And why increase food production? To feed the starving millions. And if you feed the starving millions? Then they will reproduce and increase the population. Is this a problem? What does Mother Culture have to say about this? Mother Culture says it is not a problem, because if it becomes a problem we will just resort to birth control. But despite all the ads urging us to send food to others who are starving, there are precious few that suggest that we send birth control devices. As long as man is acting out a story which says that the world belongs to him, living that story will mean increased food production for today and population control tomorrow. Only tomorrow never comes. But shouldn’t we attempt to eliminate famine? Famine is not a phenomenon unique to humans. All species are subject to it, everywhere in the world. And, when a species runs out of food, its population decreases until the current food supply is enough to support it. Man says that he is exempt from this law; when he sees a community that is suffering from lack of resources, he rushes in with resources from the outside; thus ensuring that there will be more people to starve in the next generation. Man in First world countries exercises his philanthropy by maintaining millions in Third world countries in a state of chronic starvation.

I-So we have discovered a law by which the community of life must live in order to avoid extinction. s-Still, people won’t accept it. Let’s be clear about what the people will and will not accept. The law itself is beyond argument, clearly in place amongst the community of life. What the Takers will deny is that it applies to humankind. Mankind has to see that they are effected by this biological law. I don’t think they will do that. Then the law will make them see. If they refuse to live under the law, then they simply won’t live. You might say that this is one of the law’s basic operations: Those who threaten the stability of the community by defying the law automatically eliminate themselves. Luckily I think that people want to hear something new. I-So tell me another way to phrase the law. s-The world was not made for any one species. And… Mankind was not needed to bring order into the world, it was in fine shape before we began to mess with it. The people of the world cling with fanatic tenacity to the specialness of man. They want desperately to perceive a vast gulf between man and rest of creation. This mythology of human superiority justifies their doing whatever they want, just the way Hitler’s mythology about Aryan superiority justified his doing whatever he pleased with Europe.

I-Among the Leavers, crime, mental illness, suicide and drug addiction are great rarities. What does Mother Culture say about this? s-Mother Culture says that this is the price of civilization. The story that the Leavers have been enacting here for the past three million years isn’t a story of conquest and rule. Enacting it doesn’t give them power. Enacting it gives them lives that are satisfying and meaningful to them. They’re not seething with discontent and rebellion, not incessantly wrangling over what should be allowed and what forbidden, not forever accusing each other of not living the right way, not living in terror of each other, not going crazy because their lives seem empty and pointless, not having to stupefy themselves with drugs to get through the days, not inventing a new religion every week to give them something to hold onto, not forever searching for something to do or something to believe in to make their lives worth living. And I repeat: This is not because they live close to nature or have no formal government or because they are innately noble. This is simply because they are enacting a story that works well for people a story that worked well for three million years and still works well where the Takers haven’t yet managed to stamp it out.

I-There is a very special knowledge that you must have if you are to rule the world. The Leavers lack this knowledge, and the Takers are very surprised at this because they believe the knowledge to be self evident. Who else has this knowledge? s-The gods. Yes, and I will tell you a story about how the gods came to have this knowledge. The gods one day were contemplating sending a cloud of locusts down upon a great plain so that the locusts could feast on the vegetation and the lizards and birds could flourish by feasting on the locusts. They then thought that this might not be such a great idea since then the animals which ordinarily feasted on the plants might suffer. This presented a problem because whichever way they went, they would be favoring one species over another. While they were debating they saw a fox and decided to send a quail for the fox to eat. But then they thought that it would be a crime to make the quail suffer. As they turned this over they saw that the quail was about to eat a grasshopper and they began to fret about whether they should spare the grasshoppers life by sending the quail to the fox. This was a great puzzle; if they acted then they would inflict evil on some and good on others, yet the same would occur if they did not act. Finally they perked up and remembered that at one time they had made a garden that contained the fruit of good and evil. They went to the garden and ate of the fruit and their eyes were opened. So they then went about and decided one day to spare the fox and another to spare the quail.

San Juan Islands Washington State

Near Victoria Island, San Juan Island is located outside of Puget Sound near Seattle. American Territory, There are less than ten miles across the Haro Strait to Victoria. Roche Harbor is on the north end, built by a limestone baron, John S. McMillin in the 1880s it was once the largest lime quarries west of the Mississippi. The village of Roche Harbor features Hotel de Haro (built in 1886) and the Roche Resort. Access to Roche Harbor and San Juan Island can be made by ferry, boat, float plane, or even their private airstrip.

The Roche Harbor Lime and Cement Company, later the Tacoma and Roche Harbor Lime Company, prospered and created the historic infrastructure of Roche Harbor. The Afterglow Mausoleum, contains the ashes of McMillin. Roche was named after a British Navy Man, Richard Roche, who served with James Charles Prevost in the 1850’s.

The Westcott Bay Reserve Sculpture Park is also on the north end of San Juan Island, across the giant Westcott Bay. The local limestone was suitable for sculptors, and hundreds of sculptures from prominent Northwest artists are on display in the 19 acre park.

San Juan Island dates back to the 1790’s exploration of Francisco de Eliza. Gonzalo López de Haro, who traveled with Eliza, actually discovered San Juan Island. American explorer Charles Wilkes renamed the island Rodgers Island, but it didn’t stick.

The Hudson’s Bay Company settled San Juan Island with the intent of raising sheep for wool. Indigenous people were already using the island for fishing, but were nomadic. Americans also had disputes with the British over the island. A small force of American soldiers was sent to the island, still in the mid 19th century, over disputes with the Crown and Indian raids on American settlers. The dispute became more intense when and American shot a British pig, which led to the Pig War.

In 1860, the US Congress declared dominion over the island, but the dispute lingered for another decade. Ultimately, Washington State and San Juan Island end the US territories, while the Crown held onto Victoria Island and Canadian lands to the north and west.

San Juan Island is now a tourist economy, with a weekly newspaper and a permanent population in the thousands. Surrounding islands also add to the size of San Juan County, Washington, bumping the number to greater than 15,000 in the 2000 census.

Other attractions include British and American Camps at the south end of the island, now part of the San Juan Island National Historical Park. The University of Washington also has facilities near Friday harbor, on the eastern edge of the island, closest to the continent and furthest from Victoria Island. The campus dates back to 1909 and has dormitories and classrooms.

The University of Washington holds three or four courses of study in the summer semester for Marine Biology and Marine Ecology. A dozen professors and several dozen graduate students live in Friday Harbor, San Juan Island.

Two permanent roads extend from Friday Harbor to Roche Harbor, Beaverton Valley and Roche Harbor Road. It takes only ten minutes to drive from Friday Harbor to Roche Harbor. Moped rentals are and option, as there likely is no way to rent a car on the island.