I like looking at what there is now, and wondering how it would have been in the past.

Sutro Baths

The Sutro Baths used to be the water theme park of those days. It was filled with saltwater and was once wildly popular. I guess relative to the other places on this page, this doesn’t exactly count as archeology - it wasn’t that long ago. There are photographic records of how it used to look like. It’s nice to be sure about how it was like, but that kind of takes away the imaginative bit.

Sutro Baths, San Francisco, Summer 2019

El Castillo, Chichén Itzá

If you stood right in front of one of these large steps and clapped, you would hear an echo that sounded like the chirping of birds. It’s really a pretty amazing feat of engineering, also a huge amount of effort for this effect. How did they even conceptualize something like that, and have it checked before it was built?

North side of El Castillo, Chichén Itzá, Mexico, Summer 2012

Also if you were to circle around to the back, you’d find that the South side of this pyramid was not completely restored. That is fun; having it slightly incomplete means as a visitor, you get to imagine how it might have been.

Doesn’t this mean that the restored side of the pyramid would just be some group’s interpretation of the past? Their interpretation now becomes, literally, cast in stone, possibly affecting how other visitors interpret the same structure.

On one hand, I’d rather leave something in its original state, leaving it for interpretation. On the other hand, it does make sense to restore (interpret) it, so that it can reach out to more people and bring in tourist dollars for further discoveries to be made.

El Castillo, Xunantunich

This is yet another really tall structure, offering an awesome 360-degree unblocked view of nothing but greenery.

During the excavation of Xunantunich, dynamite was used and some parts of the structures and artifacts were unintentionally destroyed in the process. Again, what we’re seeing is partially a restoration.

El Castillo, Xunantunich, Belize, Summer 2012

Library of Celsus, Ephesus

This facade was re-erected by archeologists between 1970 and 1978. I think the intricate carvings are amazing.

Library of Celsus, Ephesus, Turkey, Winter 2012

Grand Theater, Ephesus

Modern concerts were actually held at this Grand Theater in Ephesus!

Grand Theater, Ephesus, Turkey, Winter 2012