Visit ruins and you imagine the lives of the ancient ones who lived there. Were their lives difficult? How many
generations of one family or extended family lived in one particular dwelling? What was life like? What kind of
leaders? Why did the people eventually abandon the city? Warfare? Drought? Other climate changes? Famine? What
was it like during the “good” times? What are some unique cultural aspects of their civilization that are now gone
forever? From the cliff dwellings left by the Ancient Ones in the U.S. Southwest to still-buried cities in Central America,
to the Andes mountaintop cities to ancient ruins within twisting foliage in a remote area in India. Ruins on Earth are
everywhere: Africa, The Middle East, Europe, Asia, the Americas . . . . They tell stories. How do archaeologists piece
together those stories from the clues left behind. What are some of the stories not yet told? What are the stories of
the scientists themselves? How do they develop their knowledge of the builders of the city? Think of how the wind and
rain violated the works and monuments of the ancient ones after they left or died out. The forces of nature continued
without emotion to wear away the once sturdy structures.
More Distant Ruins
What about other kinds of ruins? An expedition lands on an uninhabited planet and comes across ancient structures
from eons ago. Large metal tanks that tower over you with twisting interconnecting passageways stretching to the
horizon, pointed stone spires, large adobe buildings or something previously unimagined. What would alien ruins look
like? How do space-traveling archaeologists even begin to decipher them and those who left them? Can they use
similar techniques as used by earth-bound scientists or must they come up with something new? Can they form some
kind of image of the creatures who left them? What clues were left behind?
Here are some ramblings and random, incoherent thoughts about ruins. Note that I don’t
detail any plots or characters here, but I just provide some settings. Maybe something that
would spur the imagination.
Cover Art (c) Bob Eggleton