Dig Deep – Santa Clarita Magazine

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In modern times, we often see large metropolitan cities with tall skyscrapers and 5G cell towers. It could tell future civilizations how people lived and connected in this city. My recent visit to my homeland of Israel alongside my children was a different journey. I saw it more as time travel where we could explore the past.
Traveling to cities like Jerusalem, Acre, Masada, Jaffa, and Caesarea is like traveling through a 2000 year old tunnel that provides insight into how people used to live. Last week. I fled to Greece with my husband. We visited ancient sites with broken temple columns, remnants of bathhouses and water storage aqueducts, similar to the mikvehs (soaking in water for spiritual reasons) found in Israel. Oil lamps were used for religious traditions. Old pottery vessels of urns, jugs, cups and dishes were used for daily cooking.
Old coins rich in patina from different eras had images of the rulers of those ancient times which tell us many stories about their trade. The more I delved into the subject, the more I learned about the past. There were mosaic floors made of tiny broken tiles painted with stunning images depicting scenes from wars, military leaders and many plants and animals depicting all facets of life.
The more we dig, the more we learn that people everywhere were the same as they are today. People of all ages deal with the same simple basics of life. Whether it’s growing food, using handmade tools, trading spices/oils/glass, and shipping items to clay silos around the world to build an economy strong. Ordinary people working for their leaders make us look at ourselves as a society. We come to understand that however simple the needs of the people are, they are complicated by the ambitions of their rulers to conquer more land.
It’s fascinating to connect with our roots and learn about the history of ancient peoples, their traditions, rituals and connection to the land. Each stone has a story to tell and each arch opens up a world rich in culture. There is so much to discover; you never really know what’s under the ground you’re walking on. When I walk through an old town, I don’t just look at what’s on the surface. I am often curious about the limitless possibilities of the discoveries that could occur just below.
Hugh MacDiarmid said, “There are many ruined buildings in the world, but no ruined stones.”
Naomi Young has been a Jewish Studies student and Bar/Bat Mitzvah teacher in Santa Clarita for 40 years. She is also a published writer and artist. Contact her at [email protected] Visit her art website at www.naomiyoung.com

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