Today is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that caused the deaths of many innocent people. I am reminded of the man who lead some passengers on flight 93, over Shanksville Pennsylvania to counter attack. He was overheard by a telephone operator to say “let’s roll”.
In David Grene’s introduction to his translation of “Herodotus – The History”, he wrote of the concept emphasized in Homer’s Illiad as kleos. Kleos is understood to be word often translated to be “renown”, or “glory”. It is related to the word “to hear” and carries the implied meaning of “what others hear about you”. A Greek hero earns kleos through accomplishing great deeds, often through his own death.
Grene’s introduction quotes the Iliad (6.348-57) and Helen of Sparta and Troy who speaks of fallen heroes as “subjects of song for men of future days”. This morning Paul Simon sang his Sounds of Silence in homage to the fallen. The song addresses the spaces between words, lyrics and Bronze Age songs . . . the spaces where the Greek belief in kleos endures.
There is a power in experiencing a memorial place, many excavated archaeological sites can evoke a connection to the past by, raising awareness and producing the desire to answer the question: What happened here? As a science archaeology bridges the gap between modern people and past cultures.
“Our history is an anchor, a vantage point and a library. Archaeology is the tool for expanding that history.”*
Kleos, remembering …and the sounds of silence – and then there is a time to respond. Let’s roll, lets prioritize ….lets conserve and educate.
* Barbara J. Little PhD editor CRM: Journal of Heritage Stewardship