Individually Collective Blogging: Oh the joys of Time Travel

My good friend Christina and I have been participating in NaNoWriMo together for two years now.  Next year, we were contemplating choosing a storyline and characters and each writing our novel using the agreed upon plot and setting.  I’m not sure how this is going to work out, but it sounds rather interesting.  I was also recently inspired by my Twitter-bud, @melissaoyler and her friend (Amy) who are choosing a random topic and then each blogging about it.  Christina and I thought this would be an awesome way to test out our ability to write individually on a collective topic.

This week’s topic: If you could travel back in time, where would you go, what would you see, what would you do?

Visit Christina’s blog find out what’s behind her bucket list here.

Oh! Of course it’s that simple…

I’ve been struggling on how to begin this blog post.  I thought of a thousand different ways to approach the subject, but never found anything that I really liked.  Until I just did a simple Google search.

It would take a civilization far more advanced than ours, unbelievably advanced, to begin to manipulate negative energy to create gateways to the past. But if you could obtain large quantities of negative energy — and that’s a big “if” — then you could create a time machine that apparently obeys Einstein’s equation and perhaps the laws of quantum theory.

MICHIO KAKU, Scientific American, Nov. 24, 2003

Clearly, Time Travel is a bit out of the realm of realistic possibility.  But I’d challenge you to find one individual who hadn’t fantasized about it for at least just a fleeting moment; I doubt you’ll find one.

Where would I go????

In addition to struggling with how to begin this blog, I actually struggled with why I would even want to Time Travel.  Despite the obvious things (not having a gazillion dollars, wanting to build a dream home, etc.) I’m pretty darn happy here in the 21st Century.  I’ve got my iPhone, I’ve got my MacBookPro, I’ve got some fancy cameras, I’ve got Internet, I’ve got a car; basically, I have all the necessary modern amenities and then some.  And if you know me at all (or have been reading my blog even just a little bit) you’ll know that I’m completely addicted to my modern amenities.

So, I had a dilemma.  I had proposed this terribly insightful blog Collective Blogging post and yet I had nothing to blog about!  I considered the obvious:

  1. Ancient Egypt (who doesn’t want to meet a Pharaoh?)
  2. The Roman Empire (so long as I’m one of the aristocracy)
  3. Union County, Louisiana around 1846 (Please read this)
  4. July 21, 1969.
  5. The Boston Tea Party (I just think it would be fun to dress up like an Indian and dump tea off a boat.)

But none of them felt right.  I really didn’t have any kind of burning desire to do any of that stuff.  And then, it hit me…

Archaeology never fails me in my hour of need

I’m a member of the Bansheee Reeks Chapter of the Archeological Society of Virginia (I forgive them for their “modern” spelling of Archaeology, but only slightly), and last night we were sitting around the lab just kind of having a little artifact “Show-and-Tell.”

Our fearless leader, Mike, had brought out some of the artifacts that we have stored from various sites throughout Loudoun County, Virginia and he was giving us a little rundown on what they were and why they were significant.  Actually, I was helping while we were doing the ceramics and I was kind of surprised at how quickly all that knowledge came flooding back to me!  Go me!

Anyway, the one thing that I’m super fuzzy on are prehistoric artifacts.  First, let me define “New World” prehistory.

All things pertaining to the cultural influence of man on the natural world that occur before John Smith and the other settlers landed on Jamestown Island on that faithful day, May 14, 1607 are called “prehistoric.”

Now that we’ve gotten that cleared up… Now the amazingly interesting thing about prehistoric stuff is that there are typologies, and the projectile points that were produced during the prehistoric time (encompassing the  Archaic and Woodland periods) were really very uniform across a broad area.  By broad area, we’re talking about sometimes the whole of the Southeastern United States.  This is pretty amazing since they didn’t have webinars to show Native Americans in Tuscaloosa, Alabama how to make the same projectile points that Native Americans in Loudoun County, Virginia were making.

Woodland period projectile points from the New-McGraw site. (from <a href=Now when you stick a bunch of archaeologists in a room together and a novice asks a simple question of “So, how did they all make them the same if they were spread out all over the country?” you tend to get a plethora of answers with good sound anthropological theory behind them.  Riiiiiiiighhhhtt….. actually it’s more like….

“Well, you could chock the whole thing up to culture, which we like to do….”

And then we stare at each other for awhile and try to remember some obscure paper we might have read by some brilliant genius that did some amazing comparison or something or other.

Activate the Flux Capacitor!

So, I’d like to put an end to the mystery once and for all.  I’d like to use my one time travel token to go back and finally answer the question of how these prehistoric cultures were all on the same page for their stone tools.

I’d really like to do a tour of sorts… start out during the Paleo-Indian period, work my way through the Early, Middle, and Late Archaic periods, and then finish off in the Early, Middle, and Late Woodland periods; but with a real focus on the Paleo-Indian period.  And while I’m there I’d like to do a series of interviews (considering that since I’m able to time travel, I’m also miraculously able to communicate flawlessly with all the native cultures) to really get to the bottom of how it is they’re learning their trade.  Is there a travelling expert who takes on apprentices?  Is there a major center of production that makes models and then sends them out along trade routes to the “metropolitan” areas of Prehistoric America?  Or is there just some innate sense of how to make a projectile point?

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