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Kids' Zone Jasmine Dispatch

Don't Build Your Castles On Sand!
February 16, 2000

Sometimes history is like a giant sandbox. What? A sandbox? Imagine you are in your favorite sandbox making the best sandcastle ever made. Then your best friend comes over, sees the castle (becomes jealous), steps on it, and makes another one. You, seeing this, can't believe your eyes-did your friend really crush your castle? You decide to crush the new castle and rebuild another one. Five or six sandcastles later, you and your friend decide to build a sandcastle together-the best one that was ever built. No one touches it and it stands for a whole day (until the rain washes it away.)

In Turkey, an area called Selcuk (sel-chook) has become just like your sandbox. Instead of your friend stomping on the sandcastle, however; earthquakes, floods, and other natural disasters have caused the different cities to collapse. Like you and your sandcastle, the people wanted to rebuild their homes; so they built on top of the ruins of the old cities. The only difference between Selcuk and your sandbox is that archaeologists can dig through the earth and find the different "sandcastles" that were made. They have taken their shovels and have dug as far back as 3000 years.

Most recently, a city called Efes (eh-fes) has been uncovered. This city is over 1,900 years old. In the ruins, they have found three small theaters, one large theater, temples, and a library (where the children had to read and do their homework). The archeologists think that over 250,000 people lived there. (Imagine fitting four large Super Bowl crowds in your sandbox?!) That's a lot of people.

Maybe in 2000 years or so, Archaeologists will dig through your town and find the places you went: your school, the library, the movie theater. Like the city of Efes, they can learn a lot about you by what you leave behind. What do you want to leave behind for the people of the future?


p.s. - Please e-mail me at

Brian - Quakes and Shakes
Jasmine - Life is a Bowl of Salad!

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