Eles, April 14th 2000

The first page from my MPhil thesis, and prob­ably the only page which wouldn’t be re-written from scratch if I were to go back to it.

Contrary to the pro­verb, it’s never darkest before the dawn. As I stood look­ing out to the east­ern hori­zon, the few clouds in the sky shone in bril­liant sil­ver against a metal­lic cobalt vault. Behind me the sky slowly yiel­ded from mid­night blue to lighter hues. Today, as for every other day for the past couple of mil­len­nia, there was quite a crowd for the day’s open­ing event. Scores of people were wait­ing for the sun to rise. They all wanted a good view of the sun­rise and had been sit­ting on the slopes of the hill­sides to ensure an unob­scured view. The sun rose, ini­tially peek­ing over the hori­zon like the tini­est gem of fire. The first rays of light shot over land into the hearts of the watch­ers, bring­ing with it a prom­ise of rebirth and renewal. As long as we had the sun we too would be reborn each day. Like the sun we would return from the sleep of the night and we would never truly die.

At least this is one explan­a­tion of the morning’s events. I was unable to ask my fel­low spec­tat­ors if this was a cor­rect inter­pret­a­tion, as they had all been bur­ied for centuries.


When he's not tired, fixing his car or caught in train delays, Alun Salt works part-time for the Annals of Botany weblog. His PhD was in ancient science at the University of Leicester, but he doesn't know Richard III.

2 Responses

  1. Candy Minx says:

    Hello, just tripped over your site here and very much enjoy it. I liked your note here from your thesis. Very nice!

  2. jd2718 says:

    One of my favor­ite classes as an under­grad was archae­oastro­nomy. I lost my “Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico” long ago, but I still search my shelves for it from time to time.

    Your stuff looks cool.