Ruins? Is this an appropriate label for the broken and dilapidated structures dotting the landscape in almost every part of the world? These "reminders" of past civilizations can be mysterious, majestic, unreal, and captivating. In our travels, we have visited some of the most well known of these ancient civilizations: Machu Picchu, Chichen Itza, Angkor Wat, Mesa Verde, Chaco Canyon, Tikal, Bagan; and we have hiked, biked, and wandered the lonely trails of many other lesser known but fascinating sites.
Visiting these ancient cities has given us enormous joy, immense pleasure, and hours of worthwhile and provocative conversation during our
Probably the most perplexing common attribute is that many of these civilizations simply disappeared......or did they? Our knowledge of ancient peoples grows with our knowledge of science. Studies of ancient soils, plants, animals, and weather tell us that severe drought for years or even decades devastated more than one civilization. Other studies surmise that some peoples were simply
When one looks at these ancient societies, it is difficult to avoid looking at ourselves as we exist today. "History repeats itself" is a common saying that should make us all a little reflective about our future. Are "ruins" on our horizon? Are we, too, destined to become another civilization that just disappears? Who will gaze at our relics a thousand years from now? What will be whole and what will be "ruined"?
Posted in San Ignacio, Belize. Images are of Machu Pichu, Peru; Palenque, Mexico; Angor Thom, Cambodia; and Tikal, Guatemala.