Lost and More Lost

30,000 years ago mankind numbered in the thousands. Their settlements have been researched by countless archaeologists. Nothing was lost to the notice of man, however Henri Mouhot announced to the world in 1860 that he had found the lost city of the Khmers, Angkor Wat. The Frenchman never mentioned that previous expedition to the great lake of Cambodia had visited the ruins or that thousands of monks were living on the grounds of the various royal temples. He was a good writer and his posthumously published journals intoxicated the Occidental psyche with the romance of forgotten worlds.

“One of these temples—a rival to that of Solomon, and erected by some ancient Michael Angelo—might take an honourable place beside our most beautiful buildings. It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome, and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged. At Ongcor, there are …ruins of such grandeur… that, at the first view, one is filled with profound admiration, and cannot but ask what has become of this powerful race, so civilized, so enlightened, the authors of these gigantic works?”

The height of prejudice.

The cities had been abandoned like those of the Mayas.

Rebellion against the rich.

Several years ago my good friend and I stumbled across the ruins of several brick kilns in Dutchess County. They probably dated back to the 18th Century. Slate piled into cones. No beer bottles or cans were in the interior. The layers of leaves formed a bed of neglect dating several seasons of bad weather. We were ecstatic to have discovered such monuments to man’s neglect only 10 miles from Andrew’s house and we did what all men do at such moments.

We peed on their walls.

“I came, I saw, I peed.”

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