Wednesday 7 October 2015

Travelling through time

Time travelling is something I often think about ever since I saw Terminator, I was really young then and didn’t even understand half the things that were going on. Over a period of time I saw some more films such as Donnie Darko, 12 Monkeys, The Butterfly Effect, and Source Code to name a few. All with very intricate story line, most of those films I had to watch over and over again to figure out what was going on. When I first saw Donnie Darko and the way it ended, I wasn’t very sure if I got the whole story line, until few months later when I managed to read the PDF version of the book titled “Philosophy of Time Travel”, same book that Donnie Darko uses in the film to travel through time. And all of a sudden it all started making sense. Very cleverly done, where the director expects you to read the book first or after watching the film in order to understand the sequence of events. Don’t worry for those who haven’t seen the film, I am not going to give away the story. Another really complicated film which I am still trying to figure out is Primer.

Anyway, why am I talking about time travelling? Travel is about journey, and it could be in any form. Hence why I started writing about our journey through the universe in my last post, and now about time travelling. I promise I will get to conventional travel blogs once I get these weird thoughts out of my mind :).

Just like the time travel films with complicated story line where you have to travel back and forth with the characters in the film to understand the story, you see things around you from various different generations and age, and at times I wonder, wish I could go back in time with these artefacts and understand its true purpose.

We still don’t know the real purpose of Stonehenge. Some believe it was an ancient healing centre and it goes all the way to the extent where some claim it was an alien landing site. How did Tutankhamun die? The Dropa Stones. And many more like these.

As we travel and see these amazing places it makes us curious. I did talk about our inquisitive brains in my last post. As we travel more and as technology evolves we are making efforts to understand these mysteries.

May be we will not be able to do what Arnie did, go back in time and save Sarah Connor or Tutankhamun. But we can certainly relive the Viking age momentarily, we can see how Charles Darwin came up with his Darwinian theory at the Galapagos Islands, full of ancient wildlife, plants and animals that don’t exist elsewhere. Not that long ago visitors in Iceland could practically count on one hand the number of trees in the whole of Iceland. The land was totally bare apart from some swamps and meadows while forest areas were next to non-existent. During my visit in August 2014 I saw lots of moss growing on barren land on top of volcanic rocks. This is the most primitive stage in the life-cycle, over period of time the moss would disintegrate these rocks, generate enough protein for other plants to grow during the process. A local was telling me there are some trees you could see on the outskirts of Reykjavik and they are really proud of it, when I actually went to see those trees I was amazed that they were literally just one or two feet tall J. It will take centuries for this process to complete for you to see proper forests in Iceland, we won’t be around to see those but most certainly through history, through museums, through artefacts, through photos, people living in Iceland or visiting Iceland 500 years down the line would be able to say – “This was how Iceland looked like in 2015”. In effect they will be travelling back in time just like we do now when we see the Egyptian Pyramids, The Great Wall of China, The Stonehenge, and The Angkor Wat to name a few.

Coming back to those mysteries. I saw few programmes on BBC recently. There was one about Angkor Wat. What we see is a massive temple from medieval ages, a master piece in itself, you are gobsmacked by its beauty and the work that has gone into it when there were no proper engineering tools available. However what astonished most was the discovery of the hidden city beneath the vast Cambodian Jungle. The scientists used LIDAR (remote sensing technology using laser) to map out the whole city – which includes an elaborate network of temples and boulevards, and sophisticated engineering. Today Cambodia is famous for these buildings. The largest, Angkor Wat, constructed around 1150, remains the biggest religious complex on Earth, covering an area four times larger than Vatican City. But back in the 1860s Angkor Wat was virtually unheard of beyond local monks and villagers. The notion that this great temple was once surrounded by a city of nearly a million people was entirely unknown.

It took over a century of gruelling archaeological fieldwork to fill in the map. The lost city of Angkor slowly began to reappear, street by street. But even then significant blanks remained.

Then, last year, archaeologists announced a series of new discoveries - about Angkor, and an even older city hidden deep in the jungle beyond. The findings were staggering. The archaeologists found undocumented cityscapes etched on to the forest floor, with temples, highways and elaborate waterways spreading across the landscape. It was considered to be the most ancient developed nation in the world. It is this urge of mankind to find answers made us go back 1000 years to find the ancient civilisation that existed. Now they are using the same LIDAR technique at the Stonehenge site and we never know in few years’ time we will know its true purpose.

Therefore coming back to where we started, does it make sense for me to talk about time travelling on a travel blog?

No comments:

Post a Comment