Current Essays

040 Millennium

From 4th December 1985
The archaeological dig at Clinton and Goodman is proceeding nicely, thank you, now that its brilliant team of excavators has sunk their first trench all the way down to bed-rock, and so this seems to be a good time to produce a preliminary report.

As regular listeners to this spot will know we at Sunshine Studios were the first to break the story that there was more to these so-called sewer diggings than met the nose. And with our usual diligent investigative reporting we explained why it was taking so long to complete such a simple task. It was obvious the sewer was merely a sewer cover, and the real reason for the dig was (gasp!) pure research. Now in these days of pressure to cut government spending, the powers that be in New York State wisely refrained from over publicizing such research, which they astutely surmised would be castigated as wasteful. So they came up with the sewer story and, as it were, interred the truth about their bond issue. Now is the time to tell all, and (you know) after all the kerfuffel I don’t think they need have bothered about the cloaccal cloak and dagger stuff because the story they have revealed is so exciting.

What city in America, nay what city in the world, could boast the millennium of progress which the dig has revealed. At the very bottom of the excavation trench, and right in the middle of the present junction of Clinton and Goodman there are signs of a large posthole, which carbon dating would suggest was made at 10:15 in the forenoon of December 12th in the year 986 give or take 50 years.

Now in 986 AD, just a year after the founding of our jolly City, was erected the original column of busts. Can it be that this is the very site of that historic event? Be that as it may, from that perhaps auspicious start the site soon gets on to a firmer footing because within a year or two the column was taken down (and presumably moved to a more suitable position nearby) to make room for the first paved road in North America. The ascending levels tell how this road was repeatedly repaired and immediately dug up again right up to the present, and an interesting side light is found in level 147, which has been provisionally placed in the early sixteenth century, In level 147 is found the first evidence for road salting anywhere in the world - when several blocks of rock salt mixed with calcium chloride and weighing a total of about ten kilograms were recovered from a fossilized pothole. The road shows so much evidence of the development of roadworks over the centuries that this “road with a zipper”, as the team came to call it, may well rewrite the entire history of civil engineering in America. Other remarkable finds include the earliest milestone in the continent. This is a fine piece of granite in the form of a decorated celtic cross inscribed “MMMDVII Lon…” the rest being illegible. The Roman numerals are obvious 3507 presumably miles, but one wonders where the setter of that historic milestone was 3507 miles from. AAh! Funny game archaeology - you are always left with some sort of a mystery.

Cheerio for now
from Richard Howland-Bolton.

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