I have this tendency to read several books at once. Not at the same time mind you, I am not that awesome, but I’ll read a bit of one, then read a bit of another. Get’s rather confusing sometimes, especially when you mix what you read in one with what your reading in another and suddenly you wonder how the simple story of a ranch hand in Texas turned into an alien war on the planet Karupkus….
I know. I need some ADD meds… not really… kinda though.
My point with that was, I am reading the Old Ones by David Roberts while at the same time reading Reigning in the Rio Grande by Fred Phillips AND Anasazi America by David Stuart.
I have an abnormal interest in Southwest history. Both the ancient and modern. Having said that, I dislike archeologists as a general rule. I like to say, “The Governments own the history of mankind. Archeologists dictate what that history is and Museums sell the history to the googley eyed public through glass windows and Do-Not-Touch Signs.”
Okay. I don’t really go around saying that out loud. Mostly in my head when reading something that brings it to mind. Saying it out loud would be weird in everyday conversation.
In regards to In Search of the Old Ones by David Roberts, so far my conclusion is that David Roberts is a snob. He says so in this book. At least he mentions how his friend says he is, when after tracing the routes of Ancient Anasazi in Utah and they come to Lake Powell, he becomes disgusted with the raunchy college kids out playing on a lake that covers what used to be ancient Anasazi homesteads.
I haven’t actually gotten past that part yet but that’s the part that irks me. David is a writer. Not an archeologist but for some reason he still echoes the mentality of Harvard bred researchers everywhere, even whilst complimenting one of the most controversial figures in Ancient Southwest Archeology, Richard Wetherill. Who, I, as just a dumb redneck fella from Texas, happen to admire quite a bit. (And most Archeologists and Rangers around Mesa Verde dislike)
I haven’t finished the book yet, I know. blah blah blah
Ya know, I’ve walked the mountains and deserts of New Mexico for years now. I try not to stay on trail, not just because the Forest Service advises me too, but because I like to be able to touch my own history. Put my own footprint down in a place that not too many footprints have fallen. I will go a day out of my way, through brushy tumbleweeds, fields of cactus and sandpits from hell to stay away from the hard packed trails of the US Forest Service.
I can’t say why these rules and regulations irk me, but I’ve carefully walked across areas covered in ancient potsherds, just laying in the sand where they were left and hadn’t been seen since and I’ve held in my hand a copper knife found under a rock that hadn’t been touched in hundreds of years. There’s a connection you get from feeling an object, or standing in a place that hasn’t been utilized in a hundred or a thousand years that I just can’t explain to you. It’s a secret archeologists keep from the public. Oh they will give you a lecture on the meaning of a thing. They might let you hold a potsherd, then watch you intently to make sure you put it back. They might even give you a tour through “sacred” ground that only they are wise enough and “educated” enough to be allowed to interpret and to touch. The thrill though, of finding something, or of being able to hold onto one end of a rope in time that stretches back to some other fella from an ancient civilization is there’s alone to know.
I’ve felt this way for years and have never quite been able to put into words exactly how I felt. Recently, while doing research on Forrest Fenn to help me better understand the man and how he thinks, I came across the Mother of Indiana Jones. Which, in fact, I believe, was Mister Fenn’s attempt at reading my mind and then sending it off in the form of a Letter to the Editor.
Okay. I just wanted to get that off my chest. In the meantime, with winter breaking into spring and everyone heading out into the wilds of the west, remember there are rules, there are fines and there is even jail time. I don’t like the rules, but I like fines and jail-time even less. With that said;
Recently I called up the Public Lands Department in Santa Fe, to see what there take was on the Forrest Fenn thing. The very peppy fella on the other end was more than happy to tell me that while the government hasn’t made any official statement on the matter, Archeological relics on government land, whether placed there recently or in ancient times, whether native to the area or in a box, are, “I’m fairly sure”, he said, the property of the US Government and all fines and punishments apply to anyone taking them. Then he smirked, at least it sounded like he smirked, and said, you do know Mister Fenn has been under investigation for years for possible violations of the blah blah blah….
Yeah I know. The government is a very large bulbous zit on the face of freedom. I just made that up. Feel free to use it.
So in closing.
- I read a lot of books.
- I dislike walking on trails
- David Roberts is NOT an archeologist.
- Archeologists are snobs.
- Forrest Fenn reads minds
- the Government wants your treasure
- I tend to ramble when writing
- Going to jail would not be a fun way to end a treasure hunt excursion.
- Public Land information phone guys are very peppy while at the same time smirky.
I think that’s all I have. I hope this has been informative and I wish you all the best of luck. Be careful and I’ll see ya in the woods.
I finished reading In Search of the Old Ones by David Roberts and I find him less a snob than previously conjectured. The books a good read, more or less. Though the part about Forrest Fenn wasn’t exactly running over with admiration…
That’s pretty much the update. You’re welcome.