Continuing with Valerie Hansen’s book, The Silk Road. Made great progress this morning reading about the blond and red-haired, fair-skinned mummies discovered in Western China where it is hot and dry (modern China used the area for testing nuclear weapons).
The West made incursions into this part of the East long ago. The Greek, Alexander the Great, conquered some of the people before he went into India. Archeologists found a type of Iranian (proto Indo-European) script. Although the migrants from the West who settled here brought their own language, alphabet and writing, the paper they eventually used for legal and mercantile exchanges came from China.
The inhabitants used a variety of materials for early writing including bits of wood that look like popsicle sticks. Greek and Roman coins are also part of the cache, some coins may have spilled from a pack animal, others used for trade by soldiers or merchants.
In the 1980s, I studied archeology and anthropology at Catholic University, but switched out of the program to go into Sociology at the University of Maryland, because CU focused on the Indians in Mexico and I have no interest in the archeology of North American Indians.
I went on several archeological digs of Indian sites here in Virginia as an undergraduate, and realized that it was far better to read about the work of archeologists and let others do the dirty work. I was delighted when I discovered that historians were using archeological techniques which were once reserved for those doing prehistoric digs. I enrolled in the History program at GMU because my friend Martha was a graduate in their history program. After she left college, The state hired her to excavate Belvoir, the plantation where the Army base is located today. For a while, I thought I might do something similar, but instead I became an armchair archeologist.
I never liked dirty work, although digging in the garden was fun for a long time. Now John the gardener does most of the digging. Today, he is transplanting a Hydrangea I had in a large clay pot into the garden, and moving a small Peony we discovered this morning.
The yards of many of my elderly female neighbors have been spruced up this month, some by John and others by a team of guys hired by the county. They have been cleaning up the invasive vines, pokeweed, and other noxious plants that had overtaken the yards of some of the older residents.
Meanwhile, for those of us who become easily confused, here is a laugh from one of my senior pals: