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On Sunny Lane: Are We Next?

I was tired of reading from my usual selection of reading material, so I decided to try something new/old/different from our book shelves at home.

I have several books about Native Americans, so I chose one of them to edify and entertain myself. It measures 10" x 13" and is 3/4" thick,so it will keep me amused for a long time. I only read in my spare time, so I will most likely finish it sometime next year.

The story begins with the immigrants who walked across the Bering Strait from Asia tens of thousands of years ago. I know that archeologists use carbon dating to determine how old artifacts and natural flora and fauna are, but I still think it is a wonder that they can be so certain.

By putting the pieces of broken pottery together and examining certain rocks and pieces of metal that have been formed into tools, experts can make educated guesses as to what they were used for. Even the bones give clues as to religious and burial practices.

There are a lot of things that archeologists and other scientists can learn from what they unearth. They can get a general idea about how the ancient peoples conducted their daily lives or what kinds of gods they worshiped.

There are things I would be curious to know, however--things that are impossible to find out.

For instance, did they have a sense of humor? Did hunters slap each other on the back and laugh about the "mastodon that got away?"

Did they worry about stuff--like acne, or gaining weight, or getting stains out of their loin cloth?

Did they have high hopes and dreams--about making a better spear head, or finding a better way to start a fire?

As centuries went by, these people migrated to the southwest of, what is now, the United States and Mexico. The remnants left behind showed great ingenuity in farming and housing construction. The pottery and baskets as well as clothing and blankets, show beautiful craftsmanship and artistry.

Yet, through the centuries, one civilization died out and others cropped up nearby. In most cases there were no signs of war. What could cause flourishing societies, with people of ingenuity and creativity to suddenly cease to exist?

We, in this generation, are ingenious and creative. I wonder. If it happened to them, after hundreds and thousands of years, could it happen to us?


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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