Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Buried Treasure

Divers have discovered archaeological treasure at the bottom of the Java Sea. In the last 18 months they have excavated a ship that sunk off of the shores of Indonesia about 1,000 years ago. These were likely traders using an alternate sea route to the Silk route that linked China, the Middle East and Europe at that time. That's what makes this find so exciting- they've found works from China's Five Dynasties Period, from 907 to 960, which we know little about, as well as beautiful Egyptian art. The article lists an intoxicating mix of artifacts:

"On a small mould is written the word "Allah" in beautiful Arabic script, on top of a lid sits a delicately chiselled doe."
"Tiny perfume flasks accompany jars made of baked clay, while slender-necked vases fill the shelves of the hangar along with brightly coloured glassware from the Fatimides dynasty that once ruled ancient Egypt."

All of this lay submerged like the dream of an empire lost beneath the oceans of time. Perhaps this is a fragment of the soul of our species, and we are exploring our own subconscious with crude diving equiptment. I can't wait to see what we find.

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