How do societies define themselves? To some degree or another, they look to the past. Where their people originated, the gods who have guided and protected them, their cultural accomplishments through the ages and the ancient sites that embody their historical heart.
The massive earthquake in Nepal has resulted in thousands of deaths and casualties. Pictures reveal vast swathes of devastation, and as with most catastrophes, it’s hard to distinguish amidst the rubble the evidence of previous human habitation. The earthquake now is embedded as a fault line of the nation’s 21st century self: the time before the earthquake, the time after. Once again, this ancient land has raised itself upward and wrenched itself away from earth’s pull. Eventually, after the geological frenzy, it will settle back down again. In Nepal’s strata, in its layers of broken tiles and artifacts, history reveals itself as relentlessly repeating. Continue reading