sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Lost City

There are a lot of 'lost cities' under the world's lakes and oceans. Some are in the Black Sea and they date to the days of Noah. And who hasn't heard of Atlantis?

Underwater archeologist Frank Goddio dedicated his life to searching for remnants of lost relics of the ancient world. The sunken city of Heracleion-Thonis was lost to the sea a long time ago. The best guess is that the city sank in the 3rd or 2nd century BC, probably due to liquefaction of the Nile Delta silt that it was built on following one or more earthquakes.

Standing at the strategic maritime entrance to Egypt, the city was known as a port of embarkation and taxation. It was also a source of revenue for various temples. If you were a foreigner who wanted one of the God's blessings as you traveled against the current, up the Nile, offering to the deity made perfect sense.

Since 2000, Frank Goddio has been pulling architectural treasures out of the Nile silt. The city is only under about 30 feet of water, which makes recovery practical.

Field Notes: Nepal Earthquake Relief

This is a continuation of Nepal Earthquake Relief, which was posted on this blog yesterday.

The Ghurkas have the best interest of the people in Nepal in mind and they use the funds that you and others donate to directly purchase rice, oil, salt and other kinds of food that is available or produced locally in other parts of Nepal that weren't impacted by the earthquake. In this way they get the most value for the money spent and support local businesses at the same time.  They are also purchasing material to shelter and protect both the displaced population and food from the annual monsoon that will last for the next two or three months.

The government of Nepal has a reputation for corruption much like most third world countries. The elite dip their beaks at the expense of the people who need help. The government denied landing rights for three British CH-44 Chinook helicopters, which would be used for transportation and to distribute aid directly to impacted areas. There is one airport in Nepal and the Nepalese are using that as a choke point for incoming aid that they will distribute themselves. All inbound material aid is immediately subject to a 10% cash tax and then the inevitable pilfering and profiteering takes place in the government's distribution network.

What do you call forty thieves surrounding a Ghurka? 

Feel free to e-mail Bishnu Tamang at for any details that you may need.

And thank you on behalf of the people of Nepal for whatever you are able to do.