Friday, February 11, 2011

Layers of History

credit: walter52 via
I remember standing in a riverbed, admiring an ancient aqueduct, and marvelling at the layers of civilization visible in the cliff next to me. I wanted to write about the experience in my MS, but it was one of those it had to go.

Today, when I watch archeologists digging in the Virginia lowlands, looking for possible artifacts that resemble any other stone I'd find in the yard, I sigh. Here we are digging for something, ANYTHING, yet in Turkey so much history is left to weather, or worse yet, flooded for the nearest dam. SIGH.

That's what happens when there's more history around you than you can shake a stick at. Imagine - my KizKalesi, my beautiful, magical, tragic, amazing KizKalesi is a B-grade landmark! Nevermind the other places like Olba up in the foothills, get the idea. Peasants plant their crops up to the very walls, and know what?

I like that.

Because I'm selfish. I can touch every carved block if I want to...I can find a secret alcove and connect to history...with my fingers, not just my eyes. Nothing is roped off with red cording...although some of it should be. Beware the cisterns and caverns and other odd places where you might fall to your death. No one will hear you scream. Well, hopefully a peasant will pass by with her goats...

Anyhoo, thought I'd tell you about the Metro in Istanbul. Workers are continually unearthing artifacts on the route they're digging, and for a change, it is slowing the pace of development. It's the right thing to do. I have to stop being selfish and hope someone important recognizes the value of these landmarks one day.

So how about you? Has a connection to place influenced your writing?

Related Articles:

Yenikapi dig to postpone opening of Istanbul Marmaray
Istanbul trembles at pace of change (

One more thing! Jules is passing on a Valentine to all her followers and I got I'm passing it on to you. No strings attached!


C. N. Nevets said...

Three months on one project in Iowa, and all we found was a barn nail from the 19th century. Yep.

Jules said...

Well that is just sad. But I do love digging for historical treasures. Funny, I have a photographic memory for places so history and places are always dancing in my head. No wonder I have vertigo :)

Thanks for passing the love my friend :D
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Ayak said...

I find it sad to look at old photos of Pamukkale when it was unspoiled by the feet of tourists. So beautiful compared to how it is today. What a relief when those hotels were demolished and what was left was cordoned off..but far too little too late.

Hart Johnson said...

I love all that history. I think I would have really liked archeology. My favorite James Michener book is The Source, which is about an archeological site in the middle east where he tells the story both forward (from the bottom as people live through history) and backward (as the archeologists discover it)--very elegant.

I've been inspired by a few real places, but I am not deeply connected with anyplace that has THAT level of history.

Lindz Pagel said...

I've taken more history/ humanities courses than I have use for. I love it. Unfortunately I've never gone anywhere with gobs of history yearning to be appreciated. Someday.

A couple years ago I finally traveled to the Washington state, and I have to say, that state has inspired my writing in ways I never would have imagined. I can't wait to go back.

Old Kitty said...

Yay for conservation and preservation!! There are too many dams being built at such an alarming rate causing damage to what was there before and to the very fragile ecosystem!! Slow down people, slow down!!!

I like London and where I am now in Hertfordshire. They inspire me no end!! Take care

Colene Murphy said...

Wow. That is amazing! I can't imagine how beautiful it is to see all that history!

Deniz Bevan said...

The odd thing is that I'm in love with England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales - yet I keep writing books set in the Mediterranean. Must be something subconscious, in the blood...

LTM said...

Yes! That's really how it went with my Debut Novel--I was so in love with the setting, I forgot I was supposed to be telling a story. *snort* :D

ahh... must get back to that one~ Your book, on the other hand, captures the beauty of the setting while still telling a wonderful story. Nicely done~ xoxo :o)

Christopher said...

Don't really have to worry about these sorts of debates in America, we just aren't old enough. I probably couldn't take it well, I get upset when hundred year old buildings are torn down.

Meredith McCardle said...

Hi there, fellow Crusader! I write YA historical fantasy too, and I must say your WIP sounds amazing! I'm really enjoying your blog. :)


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