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Old 03-02-2012, 03:44 AM   #3
Legate of Amon Lanc
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Yep, I think maybe a bit more clear definition of what would you actually expect us to talk about here might be in order.

Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I don't think there was any archaeology done in ME, with the possible exception of the "good guys" digging in the ruins of Thangorodrim and Barad-dur after their respective falls.
What? Good guys digging in Thangorodrim and Barad-dur? You sure you don't mean the bad guys? Why would the good guys get near such places if they didn't have to? Noo.

I can imagine some sort of archaeology more like from e.g. the Dúnadan side, "look, this used to be Fornost, you think we can find the King's Toothbrush there?" But the problem is, most of the important stuff was carried along (e.g. all the royal items like the Scepter of Annúminas, Ring of Barahir etc. were preserved by the Dúnedain in this case), and the ruins of all cities, I get the impression, were rather "revered" than "picked". In other words, I get the feeling archaeology would, in M-E, almost fall into something not as positive, along the lines of "he that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom". Old ruins are supposed to be looked at with longing over the lost past, but that's it.

It brings me down to two kinds of people who would likely be into archaeology - or maybe three, the third being Dwarves, though in their case it isn't probably archaeology in the proper sense: simply going back to Moria and trying to find Thráin's Ring and similar stuff. The two kinds of people who would be genuinely interested in what we call archaeology today would be (especially late) Númenoreans and (late) Gondorians, trying to "revive the old glory" by trying to dig in the past (but in a rather vain attempt, it seems to me), and Saruman (whose search for the Ring in Gladden fields *is* archaeology, and I am sure his search for knowledge involved much more. For example I am rather sure he must have been probably the only person to ever have searched Ost-in-Edhil for some random minor Rings or tools or recipes for them, because again, the other good guys most likely didn't even think about it).

Oh, and then Gollum. He is pretty much described as being interested in such stuff: Yet again, it is with a slight negative overtone (the last sentence).
Originally Posted by The Shadow of the Past
The most inquisitive and curiousminded of that family was called Sméagol. He was interested in roots and beginnings; he dived into deep pools; he burrowed under trees and growing plants; he tunnelled into green mounds; and he ceased to look up at the hilltops, or the leaves on trees, or the flowers opening in the air: his head and his eyes were downward.
But when it comes to "hoards of ancient items", they were usually preserved by the original owner's descendants (or companions, or wardens, or whatever) from the very beginning, so there was no archaeology involved, or then guarded by some dragons, trolls etc. So it was a matter of slaying the guardians and opening their (still used) lockers. No digging involved in either case.
"But it is not your own Shire," said Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out."
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