About What Happened
I recently had occasion to read a novel called The Dig by an author named John Preston. It’s historical fiction, a dramatized account of an excavation that took place in England just before WW2. It involves the unlikely discovery of a large Viking ship on a farmstead far inland from the ocean or any rivers. It’s a simple, entertaining book. Definitely worth reading.
Essentially the story is about archeology. Preston manages not to get too bogged down in the details, but he explains enough to let on that the process of excavation is tedious and painstaking, to say the least.
The characters in the novel go to great lengths to preserve and protect their find. The whole time I was reading, in my mind I wondered if I could go through all the trouble.
I believe I could. First, history is in large part a mystery. Yes, I meant to rhyme there. Mysteries are cool, and getting to reveal a real-life one would be exciting.
But taking that into account, what’s the big deal? So some people lived and did a thing back in the day and now they’re dead and just get on with it… That’s one way to look at things, I suppose. Suppose I’d just have to disagree.
The fact is, some folks fourteen-hundred years ago got together and decided to haul a huge frigging boat tens of miles and bury it in a particular way for a reason. Now, maybe their reasons were retarded, but they certainly didn’t think so. You don’t get that kind of a workout unless you’re operating under a very cultivated sense of priorities.
It’s the why that’s fascinating, and doing a little digging is the least we can do.
There’s treasure in them there hills. See you after.