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SCUBA-L  August 2001, Week 4

SCUBA-L August 2001, Week 4

Subject:

Re: fwd: CA Wreck Divers burn PADI cards

From:

Nick Simicich <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Scuba diving discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 28 Aug 2001 12:27:16 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (75 lines)

Simon, I understand what you are saying, but the reality is that is has to
stop somewhere.

A year or two ago, they were digging a foundation for a building in Miami.
The contractor noted that there were a bunch of holes in the limestone in a
semicircular patten.  Immediately all work stopped.  They brought in
archeologists who pronounced this a Native American Aite of Amazing Import,
near to Stonehenge in significance.  People did mathematical  modeling of
the holes in the rock.  They found some significance for this as a
predictor or moon phases or some such.  They marveled at the precision with
which primitive peoples were able to make holes in limestone.  Papers were
published.  The City of Miami offered to buy the property at a highly
inflated price to preserve this wonderful and significant historic site. My
wife, who gets the archeology trade mags, read all about the hoopla.

There was one minor problem. They ignored the little old plumber who
remembered that back in the 50's, when the building they were tearing down
to build whatever they were planning to build now, they had been doing some
experimenting with a new way of building drainfields.  You see, instead of
laying drain tiles on top of the rock, they were drilling holes down into
limestone, which is a pretty pourous rock, to see if they could get rid of
the liquid waste that way.  Later, they tied the building into the city
sewer and forgot that it ever had a septic system.....he pointed to the
indications of same on the blueprints.

I'm completely serious.  Months and months after the plumber came forward,
the City of Miami was still in negotiation to buy the property from the
developer.  I'm not sure of the final outcome.

So sometimes archeology might be correct. And sometimes, I think that they
build whole piles of theories upon, well, crap, or at least places to put
same.  I visited an Indian mound site in Tennessee.  Despite the fact that
there were lots of deer in the area, the archeologists decided that the
fences around open fields were to protect a religious site.  It was a
religious site because the opening pointed within a few degrees of the sun
at the solstice....but that opening happened to parallel the nearby
riverbanks.  It might have been more likely that the natives had realized
that by waling off this bit of pennsulia, they could farm it and keep the
animals out.  Wasn't farming, declaed the archeologists, we found no tools
(wooden tools?) and the angle of the openig was too perfect.  We looked at
the site. The angle of the opening was a matter of opinion, at best.

Sometimes a "relationship" is discovered and presented as gospel, when the
reality is that the professor needed to write a paper.

If this continues, I can imagine that someday I'll have to get an official
State of Florida archeologist to come with me when I dig a hole in my
backyard to plant a tree, in case I find a pot shard.

When artifacts are from prehistoric times, I can sort of go along with the
"don't touch without cataloging" theory.  When they are from historic
times, please, give me a break.

At 05:38 PM 8/28/2001 +1000, Simon L Hartley wrote:
>Marv,
>
>A couple of months ago I completed the AIMA/NAS Part I course in Maritime
>Archaeology. [......].  If they then tell you that the rock was
>taken from a wall built by the Romans over 1500 years ago and show you a
>diagram of the wall and where the rock fitted in, the intrinsic value of
>the rock is restored.  The rock is in context.  You might be able to
>discern something about how the orginal wall was constructed, were rocks
>lovingly shaped into blocks or simply piled up one on top of the other?
>What does this tell you about the people who originally built the wall and
>their movivation for building it?  Did they have an advanced knowledge of
>architecture?  Were they striving to produce an architectural marvel or
>just rushing to construct a solid rampart to defend against rampaging hords
>of barbarians? [.....]
--
We will fight for bovine freedom, And hold our large heads high.
We will run free, with the buffalo or die! Cows with Guns.
 - Dana Lyons, Cows With Guns
Nick Simicich mailto:[log in to unmask]
http://scifi.squawk.com/njs.html -- Stop by and Light Up The World!

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