Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta forever. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta forever. Mostrar todas las entradas

jueves, 19 de mayo de 2016

Perpetuum

   It had been discovered in a field, only some months ago, by a farmer named Enrico who had been plowing the ground in order to expand his carrot crop. He had been doing it manually instead than with a machine because he was testing the new piece of land he had bought. It was something of a lucky decision. If he had used any big machinery, he would have destroyed hundreds or maybe thousands of years of history.

 Enrico cleaned the shield with care, only using his hands. The state of the piece was amazing: drawings could still be seen on it, as well as some marking done by the edge. The farmer called the museum in Florence and they came to pick up the piece in a matter of hours. They also decided to ask Enrico if they could check his land for more objects and he agreed. He wasn’t going to use all the new land just yet, so the archaeologists could do whatever they wanted where he had found the shield.

 The object was put in a Styrofoam casing and transported to the city, to Florence, where experts would check its state and would determine where it came from, what it was exactly and when it had been used. Every single test available was going to be done to the shield because that’s what they did with every single piece that they recuperated. They would also clean it thoroughly, and put it somewhere in the vast collection of the Museum of Archaeology of Florence.

 The testing began at the same time a small team of people arrived at Enrico’s land. It lasted for several days, time in which many other objects were discovered in the dirt: there was a chest protection with the leather strap still attached to it, a golden ring made of gold and a dagger with an amethyst in the middle. They were very well conserved and the people that had unearthed them were really glad they hadn’t been affected by centuries of rain and earthquakes and all other natural phenomenon that affected the region.

 In the museum, they determined that the objects came from the times of the Roman Empire. By past data, they knew there was no city where the objects were found, so it had to be a camping site or a battleground of sorts. The objects appeared to be related somehow: the chest protector and the shield were used commonly by soldiers or even gladiators. The dagger also fit in there nicely. But the ring was the one thing that seemed out of place.

 No gold mines had ever existed in the region. And even if it had been made in another territory, only rich men and women were able to have such nice things. But not a soldier and that’s what the rest of the objects were suggesting the owner was: a simple soldier, maybe battling an enemy or just camping by a forest. The excavation of the site was ongoing.

 After restoration, every single one of the four objects looked as it had just been made. It was amazing. Some thought the dirt of the place they had found them all in was very special and capable of changing without deteriorating any type of material. The leather, for example, was moldy and about to break in some parts. But it was cleaned with care and then it looked almost new. The museum was expecting to find more objects in the area before organizing a special exhibition for the pieces.

 Almost six months after Enrico had found the shield, a group of college students that helped in the excavations, found another dagger and two skulls. The rest of the skeletons were discovered in the following days. It was amazing for every single person involved because the place was telling a story and it was telling it slowly, with mystery and even a little bit of drama.

 The skeletons were not complete but most of the bones had been recovered. They were reconstructed in separate tables in the museum and the bones were cleaned carefully in order to do a full testing of every single one of them. They also cleaned the second dagger found, this one missing the jewel that should have been right in the middle. It was impossible to know if it had been an amethyst or not. Maybe that was a small secret that the ground would choose not to disclose.

 When the skeletons were finally reorganized and tested, it had been determined that both bodies had been man, probably in their late thirties. One of them was missing at least three teeth. The other one had week bone structure in one of his arms. Both, however, had evidence of having being stabbed in the chest, probably causing their deaths. The entry of the daggers had been so violent, they had almost sawed some of the rib bones.

 What was strange was the fact that the daggers had been extracted after the first and, probably, only blow. Maybe they had been fighting alone, away from the main conflict and they had just realized they were exactly the same strength, they realized they weren’t going to be able to overcome the other one so they decided to go for the daggers and each had stabbed the other in the same way. Maybe it was a way of dying honorably… It seemed odd anyway.

 The skeletons were also introduced in the plan for an exhibition and the city of Florence had decided to go ahead and organized, even if the amount of objects was not as abundant as it would have been desirable. They trusted new discoveries to be made in the time they would take to organize everything. And they did right.

 Just before the excavation site turned one year old, a young archeologist name Camilla discovered the remains of two sets of sandals, as well as a leather pouch filled with coins. Inside the pouch, which was not as well conserved as the rest of the objects, was also a key that had a very small inscription in Latin.

 The first person to see the key, besides the young woman, was an expert in the museum that was very well versed in the language of Ancient Rome. And he was very amazed to realize what the key said: VOBIS IN PERPETUUM, which means “yours forever”. The key and the coins were, as predicted, of the same time that the bones and the rest of the objects. The story had turned much more interesting. What did that key open and why the inscription?

 The excavation went on for another six months but nothing else was discovered in there. It was as if those two men had been alone, very far from any other group of people, maybe sharing the money they had in order to go somewhere else. Many experts investigated old maps and discoveries made all over Tuscany and realized there was an ancient road that passed near the site and served merchant that wanted to take their good from the coast and back. So maybe the two men had been looking for a way to go there, to the coast.

 Others thought they were actually going to Florence, or Florentia as the romans called it. Some even dared to say that the two men had no intention of moving anywhere. Maybe they didn’t even know what their next step was. Anyway, none of that gave light about what the inscription in the key meant and why they had stabbed each other to death, presumably.

 The museum exhibition took place almost two full years after the first remains had been found. The excavation site was closed but the farmer never used it, deciding to excavate himself from time to time, as a hobby. The exhibition was complemented with other objects of the time, in order to illustrate the era and the way people lived. But at the center of it all, there was a big class casing with the skeletons lying there and even animated versions of how the two men would have looked like.


 The key was put in a casing above the bodies. The small object appeared to float over them and the inscription was written all over the walls and the exhibition asked every visitor to give their interpretation of the words. Maybe they would see something the experts had not seen. Maybe new fresh minds would be necessary to resolve a mystery of one thousand years. Or maybe, just maybe, some things deserved to be kept secret forever.

sábado, 27 de junio de 2015

The Land of Always Sun

   The tribe of the Jaqqaras had one principal concept, one that governed their entire idea of religion, society and politics. It was a simple notion that, against all odds, had helped them survive wars, harsh weather and even almost total extinction. The tribe believed that a land nicknamed by them the Land of Always Sun, laid beyond the horizon and that it was a perfect place, where everything was just and possible. They had adored this place for centuries and would honor it at least once a day. It was the cornerstone of their belief system and many viewed it more important than their god, who was very similar to all the other gods of all other religions. The place was the one who got all the temples and all praising and the one people thought before going to bed.

 The Jaqqaras lived in a steep valley, not far from the ocean where they sailed to catch fish for the community. The thing was that the Jaqqaras where very territorial, even between themselves. Envy was always present and no one could give someone else a gift without upsetting someone in the village. This sounds like a very dire, even dangerous situation, but it was exactly like that. The tribe was not confrontational but rather passive, choosing the words before actually hurting someone physically. They just thought their world was flawed and that there was no point in trying to fix it because that proved impossible. They rather lived as they could and at night they would praise the Land of Always Sun, often by prayer but also with drawings and cultural demonstrations.

 People would gather once a week, often on Sundays, to celebrate what was traditionally called the Forever festival. It wasn’t a big thing because the Jaqqaras were not many and lacked manual skills but they would all gather in their main town’s square and would perform different pieces in honor of the Land of Always Sun. There were dances and poetry and reading of beautiful literature. The children showed their drawings and the elderly shared their experiences, often-incredible tales about how when they were young they thought they had seen the Promised Land. The elderly were actually very respected as it was thought that when a Jaqqara died, his soul would travel across the sea to the Land of Always Sun and live free and happy for the rest of Time.

 The Festival was actually the only happy time or uniting time in the life of the Jaqqara people. Nothing else made them feel fulfilled as human beings, not even love or any other feeling. If a person from another part of the world would visit them, they would think that the Jaqqara were just lazy people who would rather believe in a perfect world than make their own And there had been some that had tried to change their community for the better but all those attempts failed because they were seen as disrespectful towards the Land of Always Sun and that was practically heresy.

 Those who believed that perfect world could be achieved in their actual lifetimes were often expelled from the community, thrown out of the main valley and every possession linking them to the tribe would be taken away from them. It hadn’t been unheard of that someone had been expelled and it was always the worst for their families, because they had to stay behind with the shame of having someone in their family that did not believe in the most essential piece of their beliefs. It was always hard for them at first, both the family and the expelled, but the wounds always healed fast. The person outside would find what they were looking for and the family would forget about said person.

 It had to be noted that the Jaqqara people were practical and never complicated themselves with nonsense. They didn’t like their lives to be disturbed because they preferred to be thinking about how perfect to World Beyond was. Most of them believed every person had a chance there. They all had beautiful grand houses and beauty was the norm. In the Land of Always Sun, everyone always had enough food for the day and they didn’t have to struggle with fishing or hunting. Food would just be there for the taking. They would also have money to trade stuff and stuff to trade and every single thing they could ever want would be just there, waiting for them to grab them.

 Beauty was actually a big deal in the tribe and people who were considered beautiful were the ones who often had more power than the rest. As in any other tribe, there were chieftains but the Jaqqara didn’t think their god chose them or anything like that. They actually chose them in a voting based on their looks. Of course, not everyone had the same criteria when choosing who was the most beautiful man or woman but they were always happy with the results and no one had ever contested any of the winners. They chose a man and a woman that would rule together. They would have to marry and would have to end any prior marriages to rule the tribe. People viewed this as an honor and if someone had to separate because of it, they would do it gladly and without resentment.

 Another big belief of the Jaqqara was that there was no use in doing any big things in the world, meaning that exploring of their region or of the sea was pointless. They would build houses in the place they needed and that was it. Some were healers and learned that trade but there was not other thing people could actually decide to learn or to pursue. They were all villagers who went fishing in the morning and that took care of some crops in the afternoon. They had reserves in land to eat when the fish was bad or to accompany fish when the Festival came, when they would eat more and make a little less boring.

 That was all their life and most of them were happy about it. But one thing that always happened was suicide. Seeing their belief system, it came as no surprise that many people just killed themselves in order to get to the Land of Always Sun faster. They would do it because they thought it was just stupid to live this silly life if they could be having a grandiose one with all the food they could have and beauty and all the fun and happiness in the world. For those who did it, often in the woods or in a boat in the middle of the water, it made perfect sense and it felt to them that that was the real meaning of their belief. And the rest of the tribe had nothing to say about it because, for them, suicide was not something bad at all.

 Most agreed that it was a natural means of control of the population, so they didn’t really say much about it. What they did say was that people who killed themselves to get to the Land of Always Sun, were just taking a shortcut and that their god, and this was the only real function he had, would most likely decide to put them in a special part of the land where they would be less happy than other. Actually, a full life of living in this flawed world would give a person all validity to have every single thing they wanted in the other life. In few words, they had earned it. A person that committed suicide hadn’t earned it yet so they wouldn’t really get the same treatment. Nevertheless, it kept happening.

 The Jaqqara lived in such a remote region that hey were never discovered by anyone else and that also meant that no other person had contaminated their conception of the world. Although some believed the first people of the tribe had come in canoes from the southern part of the world, no one knew for sure and that most have been at least a thousand years ago so it didn’t make any difference to them. They had decided to believe in that land and many even thought it was all a lie. But it was their lie and it kept them going, it kept them from destroying everyone else and everything in their sight. Those beliefs made them feel less alone and less small in a word that seemed enormous, especially when they were fishing.


 They were not pacifists or warmongers. They had just decided to live together and do what was necessary to survive and just live like that, with no other worries or problems. They thought it was unnecessary to complicate things because the best life one could live was one that could be honored when they died and their god decided what kind of life they would have in the Land of Always Sun. Because that was their beacon, that was the lighthouse that lit their lives and made them who they were. The thought of a place where they could be with whoever they wanted, where they could eat as much and whatever they wanted and where they could be who they were, was just to powerful and too beautiful to ignore.