King of the Hill

Carthage

 

There are three models of universal doctrine on the formation of physical structures: one which is accretionary, one which is dissipatory, and one which is chaotic. In other words, things can naturally attract to one another and stick together in order to form more massive collections of substance, things can naturally repel from one another in order to spread out within a space, and things can naturally drift directionlessly and without order or predictable interaction with their surroundings. The first and second modes can be typified by electromagnetically charged materials, which either attract or repel based on positive or negative polarity. The third mode can be observed through the examination of materials which undergo Brownian motion. For those unfamiliar with Brownian motion, imagine a drop of water resting on the top of a perfectly smooth, spherical stone with no hydrophilic or hydrophobic properties, and in finding yourself unable to predict which way the water droplet will roll, admit that the direction of its movement is indifferent to currently visible forces (no pun intended).

In the early 1900s, physicists began to toy with the idea of locality, specifically, that phenomenon observed on the local scale as a result of known physical forces must also hold true universally. In other words, the laws of the universe must hold true in spite of frame of reference. I insist that investigation along this pathway is futile, and only need provide the counterexample of fire’s inability to burn under water in order to prove my point. That is to say, we may find that the rules of existence we are so familiar with on Earth may not hold true if we (or the Earth itself) travel elsewhere, or if the passage of time renders the components (such as magnets) which give rise to these laws extinct.

In the context of planetary formation of the Earth and life itself, we may deduce from archaeological evidence that the Earth is continuously growing bigger due to accretion of mass, as more ancient relics are always found buried beneath dust and dirt, with a general understanding that the more ancient something is, the farther down it is buried. It is interesting to marry this idea with environmental studies of biology, in which it is theorized that only the fittest of the species survive. We might imagine that the weak are left to die, only to be covered over with the filth of the strong and the living, eternally, in essence describing an ever-increasingly hardy and deadly population on the surface of this planet, down to the bacterial level.

This process is often used to explain and describe cultural heritage and timelines within a geological framework. What percentage of archaeological excavations include restoration and sculpting and planting of remains with the goal of changing the iconography and assumed identity of the cultures being studied within that geographical locale? Can people use this trick to insinuate that cultures and ideas existed during a certain time and place for political reasons, when they did not? Can it also be assumed that archeology is not a modern science, and that people have been uncovering, studying, looting, changing, destroying, and intentionally placing remains for thousands of years, for the same territorial and intellectual reasons? We find that people bury their dead, migrate, change their cultures, mine for resources, and dig wells, and live in valleys and caves for protection, confounding the general rules of classifying ancient remains. We are not even alone in this habit, as we also find that squirrels bury nuts, dogs bury bones, and fish can swim to deeper and deeper waters in order to survive.

In the context of personal safety, the ability to reach higher ground has always been an imperative, as can be seen in a primate’s propensity to climb trees, or a bird’s propensity to fly in order to escape from danger. Even in armed conflict, holding the high ground provides a distinct advantage in combat.

Yet even this is not enough to ensure protection, for one reason: visibility. Hence, the need for the creation of walls. The mounded material makes it difficult for predators to approach, and the lowered earth at the summit of the hill or on the other side of a wall provides the defender with invisibility. This strategy is evident in nature, as some manner of fish, birds, ants, and turtles can be found to create walled nests before laying their clutches of eggs.

A good fortification would be high off the ground, with natural camouflage on the hill’s surface to avoid suspicion from passing outsiders. The slopes would need to be coated with dangerous obstacles against enemies, if they were to approach for investigation. Upon the summit, all manner of dangerous projectiles would need to be hoarded in order to winnow the numbers of airborne and morassed enemies. In order to avoid death by isolation, there would need to be stores of food, means of producing it, means of transferring it elsewhere, and in the case of capture, means of poisoning it. As a way of avoiding death by invasion, secret tunnels leading to outlying safe areas would be needed for escape. As a means of deception, masking affiliation by displaying the markings and symbols of other cultures could be utilized to trick attackers into approaching unsuspectingly or passing by altogether.

In modern urban warfare, we find the use of gunfire in sieging and storming buildings to be ineffective, as their height, strength of construction, numeric density, and maze-like interiors make them nigh-impenetrable. Most likely, the best way to do away with an enemy safehouse is to cut all outside connections and utilities, perhaps by digging a ring and laying thermite on externally-traced support systems, and then lighting the ground floor of the defenses on fire, or projecting a lateral destructive vibrational wave at the base of the building in order to cause it to collapse. The only sensical solution is to float cities on force-feedback attenuators.

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