Friday, October 22, 2010

Ashes, Ashes, make a cairn of sorts

I loved this find! Even though my pictures don't do this spot justice, it is a very cool story. Even though this is not a technical cairn by the definition of using stones, I feel it is reminiscient of some of the work we saw like "Long Cairn" in Great Britain (though not so grand). The small cairn is actually the former spot where MCV clinicians took the ashes from cadavers donated to science after their completed projects and scattered them for many years. My own grandfather is here, which is how I knew where to find it. Only 3-4 years ago, they stopped using this spot, and now grass has grown over what was once an eerie earthen mound of dozens or hundreds of bodies. Now it looks beautiful and innocuous, but the hill remains and you can probably make out a line in the grass surrounding the outskirts. I suppose some organic matter in the ashes changed the soil composition slightly, but that is just a guess. What is more ritualistic than the repeated returning of scientists to scatter ashes? I find it very interesting they set up a ceremonial location for this. I hope you can make out the hill, it is not very large but I tried to capture it. The farther zoomed picture just shows where the little ceremonial spot is located within the larger area.

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