I remember that during our trip to Peru in 2009, we used to hear a great many positive things from tourist guides about the Incas, or better the people of the Tawantinsuyu Empire (the Inca being just the king of the empire).
The guides used to praise their mastery in agriculture, astronomy, architecture, engineering and many other disciplines. While that civilization reached certain degree of advancement and the wonder in Machu Picchu site gives account of that, I had the parallel thought while being there that at the same time in Europe big cathedrals were being built full of arcs, domes, Leonardo da Vinci was diving into all kind of sciences, etc. The roofs in buildings at Machu Picchu were made of wood, there were not stone arcs or domes, and that is why today you cannot see trace of them.
During our last trip to England, I had a similar experience while visiting Stonehenge. The guides praised this site as being the most important prehistoric construction in Europe, which may be true, but then again I couldn’t avoid thinking of the pyramids at Giza, which we visited about a year ago.
I am no historian, thus take my next reflection as what it is: a reflection of a tourist :-).
I guess this can be seen as positive outcome of globalization understood as “global relationships of culture, people and economic activity”. I guess that by the year 2,500 B.C. the trade between different regions was much smaller than today and less exchanges of cultural and architecture best practices took place: thus you could have about at the same time the pyramids being built in Egypt while the stones at Stonehenge being put up, both being the state of the art in each place.
About 4,000 years later, the state of the art in construction building we can say that was harmonized between Middle East, Northern Africa and the whole of Europe, including the islands, and you had for example the Cathedral of Salisbury just few miles from Stonehenge being built around 1,250 A.D. , two centuries before Machu Picchu was built in a continent not yet affected by such globalization.
This reflection just related to architecture. Think of all other types of exchanges that take place from agriculture to medicine, sciences and arts… so much for the goodness of globalization.
Some pictures taken in those four sites:
2 responses to “A reflection on Stonehenge & Machu Picchu”
Pensaba que ibas a ser más crítico con el hombre inglés… De todas formas, me ha gustado tu punto de vista como turista.
egypt is in africa and not europe