Archaeology Uncovering the Great Forgetting

For 13 days in October of 1962, our civilization was poised on the edge of nuclear destruction. American president John F. Kennedy and Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev engaged in a faceoff. The world watched as the Cold War escalated precariously toward the brink of what was then called the Doctrine of Mutual Assured Destruction. That was the tactic employed by both superpowers, called Second Strike Capability, that would enable them to destroy each other with intercontinental ballistic missiles, no matter who fired first. In the last 12,000 years, it was probably the closest human civilization has ever come to annihilation.

Stalker in gas mask (Sergey Nivens/ Adobe Stock)

Stalker in gas mask (Sergey Nivens/ Adobe Stock)

The Aftermath

Imagine, for a moment, during those tumultuous days someone had lived in a small, primitive backwater of the world, perhaps high up in a distant mountain range, deep in the Amazon forest, or off on a small island somewhere in the midst of the sea. What if things had gone differently? One day that person would have been simply living his life, perhaps walking down a well-trodden pathway, thinking about whatever it was that occupied his days. The next moment, a far-off war, fought by countries he had never heard of, changed his world forever.


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