My country is Ancient. It has the oldest continuous civilisation on the planet. There were people living here in the last century pretty much the way their ancestors did at least 50,000 years ago. Today most of them live dramatically different, ‘westernised’ lives although they desperately still cling to some ancient ways and culture, be it in modern cities, or in the deepest outback country.
They were people OF the land though, they never owned land – it owned them and they respected it. Their temples, their sacred places, were never man-made, they were the mountain ranges, the hidden valleys in sandstone cliffs, the river beds (that may dry up completely for months at a time) the waterholes and the rocks.
They were nomadic also, never settling down in one spot long enough to ‘bury’ any memories. They did not build over those of the ones who lived there before. Archaeology here is finding 10,000 year old rock paintings in caves, digging up bones or tools in sand dunes or around long dried up lakes, and the odd 50 million year old fossil in a cliff that used to be underwater but is now a 1000 foot above sea level. Occasionally it is carefully cutting back a riverbank where the gradual erosion in a river bend has revealed the bones of an ancestor that could either be 300 or 30,000 years old.
But my continent country now has a history of 2 successive civilisations, the second of which started just a couple of hundred years ago – way too short a time frame for us to have much of our own civilisation to ‘dig up’.
But it has been enough time to ‘bury’ quite a bit of the previous one, at least the human parts of it.