Falling Into Ruin

A recent report by the Global Heritage fund in San Francisco, California stated that twelve of the world’s most treasured cultural sites are in danger of falling into ruin sometime in the near future. The following sites are endangered: the Church of St. Gregory of Tigran Honents (which tells the story of the medieval empire of Ani, now a part of present-day Turkey); a basilica dating back to sixth-century A.D. in Chersonesos, Ukraine; Hisham’s Palace located along the north part of the West Bank town of Jericho; Lamu, Kenya (a Swahili village in Kenya that has been preserved in appearance, culture, and tradition for thousands of years); Mahasthangarh in Bangladesh (one of the earliest urban archaeological sites in South Asia); the ancient city of Nineveh near modern-day Mosul, Iraq (city where Jonah was sent to preach at before being swallowed by the whale); the Palace of Sans-Souci in Haiti (known as the Versailles of the Caribbean); the Mirador Basin in Guatemala (home to many of the Mayan ruins); the city of Taxila in Pakistan (an ancient mecca of trade, industry, and commerce in the middle east); Famagusta, Cypress (once considered one of the richest cities in the world); Intramuros (the oldest section of the city of Manila, the capital city of the Philippines); and, last but not least, there are the temples of the village of Maluta, India. Although the demise of these twelve historical landmarks can be attributed to both natural and human causes, it’s still a terrible tragedy to think that these visible testaments to our past are slowly sinking into nothingness. Thanks to geologic processes such as weathering, erosion, and a good number of chemical reaction series in the rocks and foundations, we are slowly losing some of the sites that hold tremendous history for groups of people scattered throughout the world. We’re currently trying our hardest to preserve them, but there’s only so much that we as humans can do. In addition to the natural disintegration of these monuments/remnants of past civilizations, it doesn’t help that we humans have bulldozed our way across these sites for the sake of development and/or expansion. Our follies in landscape speculation and development in the past have finally caught up to us: and it’s not only the historians and archaeologists who will suffer. We’re slowly losing the structures that provide us with visible reminders of our diverse cultural backgrounds and societal lineages of old. To put it in a perspective that hits closer to home, consider the following list of American landmarks that are slipping beneath the earth and out of our grasp: A.M.E. Church in Washington, DC; the Saugatuck Dunes in Michigan; the Juana Briones house in California; Black Mountain in Kentucky; Wilderness Battlefield, Virginia; and the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut. The ruin of these cherished historical sites is real: so let’s appreciate them and do our very best to preserve them while we still can.

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About willdogg10

I am a renegade in this world, challenging both myself and others to become more and more inspired by our faith and the God for whom we live every single day. May we take heart in the possibilities that LOVE and SELFLESSNESS have to offer us, and may we come to realize that the greatest luxuries in life are those we participate in that belong to Someone greater.
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