Now and Forever
AP reports a strange archaeological find.
Archaeologists have unearthed two skeletons from the Neolithic period locked in a tender embrace and buried outside Mantua, just 25 miles south of Verona, the romantic city where Shakespeare set the star-crossed tale of "Romeo and Juliet." Buried between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago, the prehistoric pair are believed to have been a man and a woman and are thought to have died young, as their teeth were found intact, said Elena Menotti, the archaeologist who led the dig. ... Although the Mantua pair strike a rare and touching pose, archaeologists have found prehistoric burials in which the dead hold hands or have other contact, said Luca Bondioli, an anthropologist at Rome's National Prehistoric and Ethnographic Museum.
In his epilogue of the Time Machine, HG Wells summarized the glory and tragedy of mankind. Two white flowers presented as a gift to the Time Traveler by a child-woman from the future. And where was he now? Age might weary. Disease waste. Death and degeneration come. Is man's life tragic? "If that is so, it remains for us to live as though it were not so," Wells wrote. And maybe it is not.
"He, I know--for the question had been discussed among us long before the Time Machine was made--thought but cheerlessly of the Advancement of Mankind, and saw in the growing pile of civilisation only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy its makers in the end. If that is so, it remains for us to live as though it were not so. But to me the future is still black and blank--is a vast ignorance, lit at a few casual places by the memory of his story. And I have by me, for my comfort, two strange white flowers--shrivelled now, and brown and flat and brittle--to witness that even when mind and strength had gone, gratitude and a mutual tenderness still lived on in the heart of man."