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Did Socrates say "Know Thyself", or was he misunderstood, as all are. Show Thyself is all we can do. The knowing is unknowable.  

I am filled with joy.  It can't be helped.  

Became a Farmer, Builder, Musician, Tank Commander, Librarian, Lawyer and Minister. I have failed at many things. And now retired.  Filled, just filled, with Joy. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The sudden disappearance of Great Rulers - the Moche

We have seen so many "civilizations" which have fallen. All people have "classes" -- the plebians and the patricians who rule them. But the "rulers" are rarely wise, rarely deserving of the special treatment they require. Tney "spell out" for us how worthless and empty the pretense to superiority is.

In South America, I have seen the Huacas. In the desert, the Moche built great cities. The Huaca del Sol and de Luna are the greatest structures built in the New World before 1500 A.D. The Moche were also the greatest craftsmen of the chaleolithic peoples. Their food was grown using wonderful brick aquaducts. But what do we know of their disappearance?

They left a record of images and stories on pots and walls, including the slow blood-letting and "sacrifice" of prisoners captured live in battle.

Dr. John Verano, Tulane University, was the bone specialist who studied a field of skeltons to determine cause of death. Thin slash marks to the front of the neck bones, some with hundreds of marks -- indicating the muscle was cut and removed from the bone. The images on the pottery were not "stories", they were pictures of actual sacrifice.

Around 650 A.D. the Moche quite suddenly vanished. El Nino - the name we give to the wet weather that hits the coast of Sur America -- strikes every five years or so, but at exactly the same time the Moche collapsed, the weather was going haywire. A major El Nino on the coast, with flooding and landslides, occurred, and drought and dust conditions followed in the mountains -- a mega-drought.

Here is a clear example of a huge and specialized civilization which was powerless before an epic change of weather.