Material Culture and Humankind’s Utter Fabulousless

Like anybody with any sense, I am utterly addicted the British Museum’s History of the World in 100 objects podcast. There is also a book. Some of the objects covered so far are so utterly breathtaking in their beauty:

King Den’s Sandal Label, 4000 to 2000 BC

Ceremonial Gold Cape, Bronze Age Wales

Silver plate of Shapur II

You get the idea. All the images are theirs; I’ll pretty much feel like you’ve wasted your life if you don’t listen.

What does this have to do with sustainable cities? It’s like this: the first, beautifully wrought piece is over 6,000 years old. Your life span, if you are very very fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on how things go), will be 0.0167777 of that. There are many more of us to come, and our job is to leave a world that is as interesting and valuable as the one we inherited.

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