Thursday, May 22, 2008

Desecration at Stonehenge

In an article from the UK Guardian I learned that stonehenge has suffered an act of vandalism. Two men who took off in a car before they could be approached broke off a piece of the heel stone- with a hammer and a screwdriver (!) - a souveneir, I suppose. I can see the temptation to do this. I mean, I’ve been an archaeologist. Tell me I’m wrong to covet some of the cool stuff that gets dug up! Especially from sites scheduled for demolition (which most of our sites were). When I was in Greece I was tempted to take home bits of ruins. I mean, there were crumbled bits of marble everywhere. I wouldn’t have had to break anything. But no. I left it there. Where it belongs.
Now I can’t speculate too much because I don’t know these guys. But could they have been driven by the desire to own something sacred the way Catholics want bits of saints?
But to desecrate a sacred site for the sake of having something to take home with you shows just how much you don’t respect it. It’s a very narcissistic act. I mean, wouldn’t a handful of dirt, a pressed flower or pebble off the holy ground have served as well?
Of course, this bit of history could show up on ebay. It wouldn’t surprise me. It would be a little sad though.