History: The Interesting Questions Are Often "Why?" Questions

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Let’s face it, we would all reasonably be couch-potatoes stress-free than busting our chops doing exhausting work! We’d all reasonably be lazy and sleep in — what a luxurious. That’s why all of us love weekends and holidays, proper? Of course, there are simply occasions when the ‘ends’ — the requirements of life — justify the exhausting work ‘means’. I imply a lot of individuals go to all types of hardships looking for buried treasure, like say at Oak Island, or diving for sunken Spanish treasure ships, to traipsing after the Lost Dutchman Mine. Get-rich-quick is a ‘why’ motive if ever there was one!

Then too the exhausting work in constructing your personal house or ploughing the fields as a result of you want to fill your stomach is comprehensible. There’s an apparent optimistic motive within the building of bridges, roads, tunnels, railroads, airports and any and all different infrastructure that companies transport. There’s incentive to constructed arenas for sport (just like the Roman Colosseum or Yankee Stadium), since sport is an exercise that we wish to take part in, even when simply as a spectator.

But then too, even with regards to the requirements, one tends to do the minimal required to attain the specified outcomes. I imply digging a grave 7000 years in the past wasn’t simple, however the motive, avoiding the stink and decaying visuals and well being hazards of a decomposing physique was in all probability an inexpensive trade-off, particularly if the corpse had some sentimental worth. On the opposite hand, they did not go to further effort and dig a 12 foot grave when 6 toes underneath sufficed! That’s true in fashionable occasions as properly. So there are limits to ‘why’ and motivations.

Of course fashionable expertise takes a number of the actually, actual exhausting work out of developing skyscrapers, large dams, nuclear energy stations, and so on., (and in addition to one will get paid for his or her labour) so let’s as an alternative return again to a time when there was no such high-technology to help and ease the burden, like grave-digging 7000 years in the past.

The motivation or the ‘why’ query is definitely answered when introduced with examples, like treasure looking or digging graves or filling your stomach. But that is not at all times the case. Yet maybe it must be. Motive throughout time and house must be understandable to us — we’re not that far eliminated in time and house from our historical ancestors. The historical peoples, societies, cultures which are additionally half and parcel of those ‘why’ or motive points are the very same type of people as you and I; the identical ‘gray matter’; the identical IQ’s; the identical reasoning powers. If ‘why’ X again then did such and such, it ought to mirror why we’d do the identical within the right here and now. If there isn’t a such connection, then maybe now we have actual bona-fide anomalies to contemplate.

‘Motive, means and alternative’ are sometimes cited in whodunit homicide mysteries. In the context of this essay, it is the ‘motive’ bit that is the important thing. That ‘why’ query. Often although, even when there’s a motive, the ensuing no matter is commonly over-the-top. The Egyptian tombs, say these constructed within the Valley of the Kings, are sometimes means above and past what was actually vital to be able to safe affordable items and companies and afterlife house for the dearly departed pharaoh. But again to unusual motivation and some examples of actual life puzzlements.

Lots of books and articles (even web sites) are filled with the ‘how’ questions, as in ‘how’ did the traditional Egyptians constructed the pyramids at Giza? ‘How’ had been these Easter Island statues constructed, transported and erected? ‘How’ can individuals assemble the ‘crop circles’ in quick-smart time frames in the dark? But typically a much more tough query is the ‘why’ query, a minimum of tough when you subtract a survival, monetary, private glory, and authorized, or perhaps a curiosity (scientific) motive. Let’s begin with that extra fashionable instance earlier than travelling again in time — crop circles.

Crop Circles (England): Let’s assume that the ever ongoing crop circle phenomena, primarily however not solely British, are 100% the work of human beings and all are hoaxes. I imply there’s definitely intelligence behind the development, so Mother Nature has to take a again seat on this case. Now whether or not footage of many giant and sophisticated geometric ‘circles’, or higher but, endeavor on-site visitations, the visuals should divulge to anybody the large quantities of effort and time that went into making them. What’s the motive? Well, it definitely can’t be private reward, a pat on the again to your time and efforts, private fame unfold far and close to on TV or in newspaper headlines — you identify in print, far much less financial acquire. Constructing crop circles — hoaxes — would not put meals in your stomach or put a roof over your head or enable you together with your CV/resume when looking for employment. In reality, if the powers-that-be work out whodunit, and whodunit was you, then your ‘reward’ may simply be a hefty advantageous and/or jail time. The ‘why’ query within the case of ‘crop circles’ just isn’t simply answered by any means assuming human hoaxes.

There are quite a few examples, like crop circles, which are apparently ineffective constructions, but which required getting our all-loving couch-potato butts off mentioned couches and into ‘blood, sweat and tears’ mode. For instance, the Nazca Lines in Peru.

Nazca Lines (Peru): The ‘how’, as in how the Nazca Lines had been made; the development of those well-known pictograms is a no brainer. Any archaeological textual content will simply clarify the ‘how’. The ‘why’ query then again, nevertheless, just isn’t so simply solvable. Why go to any period of time, effort and power to assemble footage within the grime that may solely been seen and appreciated from the air? This was a time when there was no methods and technique of any contemporaries of these Nazca Line building staff having the ability to view these footage from the air. It would look like wasted effort. For a peoples residing in a harsh surroundings just like the Nazca Plains, efforts simply couldn’t be wasted on the frivolous. Nevertheless, the blood, sweat and tears to attract the pictograms had been nonetheless supplied. Why?

Machu Picchu (Peru): Machu Picchu is an historical Inca ‘metropolis’ perched excessive on a ridge between two windy hills, properly mountains truly, some practically 8000 toes above sea stage within the excessive Andes. The ‘metropolis’ was constructed atop this very steep, rugged and reasonably inaccessible twin mountain ridge and never even the Spanish Conquest ever heard of or situated it. Apparently the perfect guess is that it was constructed as a type of «Summer White House» for the Inca emperor (however no person is aware of for absolute positive and there are different concepts). Given the placement and terrain, it is hardly a perfect place to construct a ‘metropolis’, particularly when the Inca Empire managed huge quantities of much more appropriate land to choose and select a «Summer White House» for his or her pricey chief. There’s one thing reasonably odd about why Machu Picchu was constructed within the first place at monumental price and energy, a lot of large stone blocks needed to be reduce, transported and heaved into place, however constructed it was. However, it was deserted to the weather just a bit over 100 years later. Go determine! Why?

Egyptian Pyramids (Giza, Egypt): These large constructions additionally apparently serve no actual goal. Why construct a pyramid as a tomb for one, when for a similar effort, you’ve gotten a mausoleum for hundreds of Egypt’s higher crust! In any occasion, no smoking gun our bodies (mummies) have been discovered within the trilogy of these nice Giza pyramids. Tomb robbers after gold, jewels and different valuables are fairly comprehensible; however of what worth is nicking off with the corpse? In any occasion some lesser pyramids have had sealed sarcophagi found, unique plaster in place; no our bodies! Something is screwy someplace — once more! Perhaps the pyramids had been actually designed as cenotaphs — memorials to the lifeless pharaohs versus tombs for the lifeless. Or maybe the true or a minimum of supplementary goal(s) of the pyramids has but to have been considered.

In non-pyramid tombs (just like the Valley of the Kings; Valley of the Queens), whereas looting definitely befell and valuables that had been on the mummies had been stolen, the corpses themselves weren’t nicked. In reality a complete potful of them had been latter taken to a safer (hidden from sight) location. It’s solely within the comparatively current ‘fashionable’ period, the put up Napoleonic invasion of Egypt, when Egyptology-mania took maintain, that mummies turned priceless commodities each for personal collectors and for museums. Until then, mummies, the precise our bodies, had no monetary worth for tomb robbers.

Okay, that aside, for those who’re a pharaoh with practically limitless sources at your command and a powerbase to get your personal means, does it actually finally matter whether or not your pyramid tomb is constructed out of blocks of stone that weigh on common 2.5 tons (however can attain 220 tons), or say constructed out of only one ton and even half-ton blocks of stone — the latter being far simpler to haul and manipulate. As issues at present stand, the Great Pyramid was constructed out of domestically quarried limestone to the tune of over 2.3+ million blocks plus further granite blocks imported from over 500 miles distance, every weighing roughly 25 to 80 or so tons, to the last word tune of some 8000 tons price. Limestone is not too tough to work; granite is a a lot harder bastard! All up that is one hell of a number of manpower, supplies and time wanted to assemble a tomb with no physique in it! Let’s e simply conclude — higher these historical Egyptian labourers doing the exhausting yards again then than you or I. If I had been residing again then, I’d be asking the ‘why’ query!

Finally, if pyramids had been so all-fired essential to the traditional Egyptians, why did they slowly decline in stature and in using high quality constructing supplies to ultimately fade away, like an outdated soldier? It’s type of like our cities of skyscrapers devolved into cities of townhouses therefore into tent villages; or our buying malls devolved again into the final nook retailer therefore again to people bartering items and companies within the streets and alleyways.

Winged Bulls (Assyria): Once upon a time there existed an enormous human-headed winged bull with 5 legs. Why? If your subsequent door neighbour advised you that I’d say you’d say that that somebody was ingesting or smoking one thing apart from tea or tobacco. Alas, that might be the case had been it not for the truth that these monstrosities are literally exhibited within the British Museum — properly carved stone statues of them anyway. Such 3-D representations should have been the results of a number of bodily effort since carving life-sized statues out of stable rock is fairly labour intensive. Yet these are representations of apparent impossibilities. Why try this? Yet, that is simply the tip of an enormous iceberg. The Sphinx at Giza (Egypt) is one other building out of stable rock of one thing that is biologically inconceivable. The variety of apparently mythological hybrids is properly into the multi-hundreds. You identify the combo; it greater than possible exists in some tradition’s mythology in both 2-D and/or 3-D kind. Why?

Carvings in Stone (Here, There and Everywhere): It’s one factor to hack out a block of stone, it is fairly one other to carve intricate inscriptions, footage, hieroglyphs, and so on. in stable rock — it is not fairly as simple as carving you and your lovers initials in a tree trunk! The level is clearly to convey some type of significant message to others. But the identical goal is completed, at far much less effort, by simply portray your photographs or hieroglyphs, and so on. on the rock’s floor. That simpler street was typically travelled, for instance in prehistoric cave artwork. My query is why the better street wasn’t at all times travelled. Nearly all historical societies, from Mesoamerica to historical Egypt and the Middle East a minimum of typically, typically extra than simply typically, took the more durable street that ought to have been much less travelled for the couch-potato lovers of these occasions. Why?

Easter Island (South Pacific): We’re all acquainted with the mysterious large quasi-human stone statues that not solely dot Easter Island, however virtually outline her geography within the eye of the armchair traveller. Now the locals needed to work actually, actually exhausting to hack out, assemble, carve, transport and lift these dozens and dozens of stone figures. An off-the-cuff passion this most definitely wasn’t! The goal apparently revolved round ancestor worship, however why the necessity for thus many? Americans might revere Abe Lincoln however there is just one Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. (a website comparable in dimension to Easter Island) not multi-dozens. Easter Island’s ‘why’ query hasn’t been satisfactorily answered but IMHO.

Pohnpei Island (Micronesia): The very last thing you’d look forward to finding on a small tropical island can be large artificially constructed megalithic basaltic buildings comprised of boulders and columns weighing as much as 50 tons every and stacked over 25 toes excessive with out even primitive expertise like beasts of burden or the wheel out there to the natives. But, such is the case, a ruined metropolis advanced known as Nan Madol. Since the stones/columns needed to be imported and carried by native rafts or canoes from the closest mainland (truly foremost island), the overall quantity of engineering, transporting and building effort by a comparatively small native inhabitants needed to be immense — a really highly effective ‘why’ motive should have been at work. Either that or there was a easy ‘how’ which varies of their traditions from those that may levitate the large stones with assistance from a flying dragon to a magic payer which made heavy issues weigh much less.

Stonehenge (England): We’re all fairly acquainted with the essential story define and pictures surrounding Stonehenge. Our ancestors means again then when to fairly some appreciable effort to assemble this megalith, now a serious vacationer attraction. The ‘how’ query is once more not as essential as ‘why’. One frequent concept surrounds this megalith as some type of historical astronomical laptop used for marking and celebrating the solstices; maybe additionally predicting lunar/photo voltaic eclipses and different astronomical occasions of sensible worth to hunter-gatherers and farmers. Alas, you would assemble Stonehenge at one-tenth the dimensions with solely a tenth the backbreaking effort and lose not one of the construction’s computation talents. Or, you would assemble the machine with domestically out there wooden. That applies equally as properly if Stonehenge had been constructed solely as a spot for gatherings/conferences, or one thing to function a type of ‘temple’. A wood ‘Stonehenge’ would have taken far much less effort to assemble and preserve, and wood-henges are definitely identified to have been constructed in England. Why had been dragging big blocks of stone over many, many miles after which dressing them and elevating them up so vital as an alternative of doing issues the couch-potato means? Who actually is aware of?

Stone of the Pregnant Woman (Baalbek, Lebanon): There are many, many large stone blocks which were quarried out and put to make use of in numerous megalithic buildings from Machu Picchu in Peru, to these Easter Island Moai statues, to the Olmec stone heads in Mesoamerica, to Stonehenge itself, to the pyramids (Egyptian and Mesoamerican), to obelisks, even the Parthenon columns, and the checklist may very well be prolonged a hundredfold. One hundred, 200, even over 300 ton blocks of stone have been utilized. When it involves erected obelisks, 400 tons or extra are usually not extraordinary. Then too there’s Pharaoh Hatshepsut’s ‘unfinished obelisk’ that, had it not cracked in-situ, would have needed to have been erected by her topics to the tune of heaving and hauling over 1200 tons. Talk about backbreaking! Then there’s the Roman Temple of Jupiter advanced at Baalbek (historical Heliopolis), which incorporates close by underneath quarry the Stone of the South, in any other case often known as the Stone of the Pregnant Woman that weighs in at barely over 1000 tons. But wait, there’s extra — one other close by unnamed rock slab clocks in at over 1240 tons. Here’s the last word ‘why’ query. What’s the purpose? There was no «Guinness Book of Records» again in these days! Maybe this was the traditional’s means of ‘maintaining with the Joneses’. Anything you may construct I can construct greater!

Our Ice Age Ancestors (Europe): When you consider paradise, do you consider Tahiti or Patagonia; Florida or Siberia; Hawaii or Iceland? All else being equal, we are inclined to favor heat and sunshine over chilly and snow, particularly if it’s a must to stay off the land. So, why, throughout the current Ice Ages did a few of our European ancestors select to eke or powerful out and endure a reasonably pointless check of pure survival by giving Mother Nature the center finger and taking these 9 months of extreme ice and snow and freezing temperatures per 12 months after they may have slowly however certainly migrated south because the icecaps additionally grew and moved south to hotter climates. That would have been wise. Surely the human inhabitants wasn’t so nice again then that there weren’t huge and comparatively uninhabited tracts of land with a far more nice local weather. What was the motivation to boldly go and endure what none of our ancestors had ever endured earlier than?

Abandon Hope Ye Who Live Here: Not all of our ancestors had been tremendous cussed sufficient to stay issues out it doesn’t matter what. There’s a complete checklist of settlements that for causes or motives unknown got that center finger by their occupants and left deserted for Mother Nature to cope with. The query right here just isn’t a lot why these settlements had been constructed the place they had been constructed within the first place — why was New York City constructed — however why they had been deserted — it is as if New York City was simply left to the alley cats, rats, pigeons and cockroaches in a single day. How you progress out is not the issue; why you do when apparently you’ve gotten the nice (even when not nice) life is one thing else but once more. Even if you want to use the exit door at the moment, why not return tomorrow? The infrastructure continues to be largely in place, out there when circumstances enhance. Then the inhabitants ought to return. Except within the historic document (see beneath) they by no means are inclined to return to choose up the items.

Okay, everyone knows why Pompeii was deserted, however most cities bounce again from pure disasters, like San Francisco (earthquake) and New Orleans (hurricane). I strongly suspect that L.A. will bounce again from the following eventual Big One. But what of Mesa Verde (USA); Machu Picchu (Peru); Copan, Tikal and Palenque — Mayan cities in Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras; and Teotihuacan (Mexico), a abandoned metropolis even the traditional Aztecs had been in awe of. What occurred to trigger all of those historical Native Americans to determine to leap ship at house port and migrate elsewhere?

What concerning the Minoan civilization (Crete) which went walkabout into the mists of historical historical past by no means to be seen or heard of once more. A large close by volcanic eruption adopted by a mega-tsunami possibly the last word smoking gun right here (and which possibly gave start to the story of Atlantis) however we do not know for positive. It’s all a giant ‘why’ thriller.

Great Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) was as soon as a serious buying and selling metropolis with inhabitants within the tens of hundreds. It too went into decline and was deserted for causes unknown, although educated hypothesis focuses on environmental degradation as most definitely.

In conclusion, poor historical past college students are compelled to be taught (memorize) all about who, what, the place and when. History lessons can be much more attention-grabbing, even enjoyable, if the ‘why’ query got equal time.