Thursday, November 27, 2008

across the windgate to higher peak






Higher Peak has the remains of a neolithic settlement which has been estimated to be six times the size of what is there now, the rest of this settlement having fallen into the sea during the course of time. Excavations in 1964 revealed cooking areas, storage pits and flint tools, including a jadeite axe of continental origin. It also has the familiar giant earthworks of ditches and dikes. The earliest remains of occupation seem to date from about 3,300 B.C. but there is no evidence of anyone living there during the Bronze Age or the Iron Age or in Roman times. On Muttersmoor there was a stone circle of six stones, with one in the centre, all of which were removed in 1830 to be used in a rockery in Bicton.

Whatever happened to this ancient civilisation is unknown. They came up around the coast of Spain, surveyed the country and constructed vast monuments on the hills which call across the land and echo each other in shape and then they vanished. Civilisations rise and fall as sure as the seasons change, for a time they may be remembered but after a while they are completely lost to history. Our present civilisation is nothing special and in time it too will vanish, leaving only a thin layer of plastic, radiation dead zones and maybe a few folk tales or oral history and song.

The decline of civilisation has some amusing echoes for anyone who can find comedy in such things. When I first saw American Gladiator on the television in the 80's I thought that surely this was the beginning of the end, and that all they needed to do now was overextend their empire and get caught up in some costly and futile wars. Other unexpected events also hasten this process and other intentional manipulations will also move this decline along.

3 comments:

nobody said...

Hey John, I love the progression in 'ethereality'. I just now wondered if there was such a word as ethereality (not that that would have stopped me from using it) and I put it into my mac dictionary and found not only did it exist but had the most marvellous definition. Read this - "extremely delicate and light in a way that seems too perfect for this world".

Yup, and John has the photos to prove it. Thanks matey.

john said...

Cheers Barbara, you're most welcome. I hope you feel free to comment anytime you like on my quiet corner of the internet, thanks.

Hi nobody

yes, the light and landscape does some interesting stuff around here and often I am revisiting places so it's good to compare the differences, we have such big views around here that you get to see this stuff without too much getting in the way. Usually I like to keep the photo's recent so that the progression of the seasons can be seen but sometimes it's nice to have a sequence. I've some of a favourite oak tree that I photograph everytime I walk past it and also a selection of devon gates, which I always thought would be fun to do as a really limited appeal book.

If I ever see reality on the scrabble board i'll have another possibility for it now. I like making words up and scrabble throws up some lovely ones. I like the chance element in scrabb, we play it a lot round here though the ladies more than me and they know all sorts of trickyness.

blonde hair, beer drinking, are their photo's plastered all over the front pages everywhere yet?

cheers nobody, john

nobody said...

Hee Hee, scrabble, the only game I have any time for...