Went to see the archaeological excavation at Alken Enge just outside Århus today. It’s the remains of a foreign army that was defeated around year 0. Their remains were left unburied, you can see that wild animals have gnawed the bones, and after a fair while, no less than 6 months, the skeletons were split apart and thrown into a lake, Mossø, probably as a sacrifice.
Hearing about the excavation was extremely interesting. There was too much information to even begin to repeat but as an example, here’s what they can tell just from the hole in the skull in picture three.
You can tell that it was probably made by a sword because it starts out clean (the straight line at the top right) and then loses momentum before it’s sliced the whole way through. The attacker has had to break his weapon out of the skull, which is why the bottom left is much less even. An axe would have been heavier and would probably have been able to slice cleanly all the way through. It hasn’t healed so it was made close to the death of the skull’s owner. As the archaeologist said: it’s not necessarily a fatal blow – it didn’t get all the way through to his brain – but you might imagine that it distracted him somewhat during the battle and so at least contributed to his death. Archaeologists have a dry sense of humor.
The trouble with secrecy isn’t that it does’t give the public a sense of participation. The trouble with secrecy is that it denies to the government itself the wisdom and the resources of the whole community, of the whole country.
And the only way you can do this, to let almost anyone say what he thinks, to try to give the best synopses, the best popularization, the best mediations of technical things that you can, and to let men deny what they think is false, argue what they think is false, you have to have a free and uncorrupted communication.
And this is so the heart of living in a complicated technological world, this is so the heart of freedom, that that is why we are all the time saying: “does this really have to be secret”, “couldn’t you say more about that”, “are we really acting in a wise way”. Not because we enjoy chattering, not because we’re not aware of the dangers of the world we live in, but because these dangers cannot be met in any other way.
Happened to walk by where NorthSide was. I just had to sneak in and take a look around. Also some pictures.
The whole area has been cleaned up and basically left alone since it looks like. They’ve been thorough too, there was basically no rubbish of any kind to be found, including no traces of Arcade Fire’s confetti-rama.
It’s just an empty field now, lots of plants and flowers. Lots of bees and butterflies and other friendly insects buzzing around. Some bare spots where the grass hasn’t grown back but they were the exceptions. There are some ugly bits too, like holes and stacks of boulders. I think there were stages and booths and such built around those so guests didn’t see them.
It felt a little apocalyptic too. This place was packed with humans just over a month ago and now that we’re gone nature hasn’t missed a beat in taking the place back. Comforting too in a way.
I’ve slept on an air mattress for a couple of weeks now and I don’t care what that guy’s on – crack, airplane glue, whatever — I want some. Nobody wakes up that happy on an air mattress unless there is some form of substance abuse involved.