[permaculture] Pc and large scale farms

Gray, Lisa LGray at museumoflondon.org.uk
Fri Aug 30 04:48:49 EDT 2002

Im at work so time is money. I'll try to reply fully when I get a break.


Lisa Gray
ext 3334

> -----Original Message-----
> From: jamie nicol [mailto:jamie at tiscali.fr]
> Sent: 29 August 2002 19:41
> To: permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
> Subject: RE: [permaculture] Pc and large scale farms
> Hello Lisa, I certainly think the past can shed light on the 
> present, in
> agriculture as in everything else, despite our common cultural bias
> implicitly accepting of the idea of progress. This concept 
> would have it
> that the past might be occasionally interesting, the source 
> of a few good
> stories but really can't help us because it speaks of a time 
> from which we
> have come, a time that we have surpassed ('surpassed' I'm 
> using not only to
> mark the passage of time but to give the idea we have overcome it).
> However, I do not believe like many others that we repeat 
> ourselves either:
> the agricultural situation in the later Roman Empire and the current
> situation in much of the West is the same but different, in 
> the same way
> that Heracleitos spoke of never stepping into the same river 
> twice. History
> is illustrative and thus helpful for perhaps understanding 
> our position from
> another angle.
> 	If I may take advantage of your specialization and ask 
> an environmental
> archaeology question: to what extent are Marija Gambutas' ideas on a
> pre-Indo-European culture based on equality between the sexes 
> under the
> blessings of a mother goddess and practicing sustainable 
> agriculture born
> out by archaeological records? Or, to put it more succinctly: 
> Was there a
> truly nature-centred agricultural culture?
> 	For those never having heard of Gambutas' this is how 
> she represents her
> ideas of this old culture and its subjugation by the 
> Indo-Europeans as the
> moved west across the continent:
> "We are still living under the sway of that aggressive male 
> invasion and
> only beginning to discover our long alienation from our 
> authentic European
> Heritage...non-violent, earth-centred culture...and its 
> symbolic language ,
> whose vestiges remain enmeshed in our own system of symbols."
> The past is indeed another country, but it has its practical uses.
> Jamie
> Souscayrous
> -----Original Message-----
> From: permaculture-admin at lists.ibiblio.org
> [mailto:permaculture-admin at lists.ibiblio.org]On Behalf Of Gray, Lisa
> Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2002 2:03 PM
> To: 'permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org'
> Subject: RE: [permaculture] Pc and large scale farms
> Dear Jamie and all,
> I've just had a very quick scan (at work at present) of your 
> email and feel
> you've picked up on something dear to my heart. I believe 
> that the only
> valid reason for studying the past is to learn form it to 
> look for trends
> nad to improve the way we are working with the land today. I'm an
> environmental archaeologist, unfortunately not in the 
> position to research
> this theme at present (though if I won our national lottery 
> I'd jump at the
> chance to do a PhD linking archaseobotany with 
> permaculture!), but I bear it
> in mind in my work and my permacultural interests. If anyone 
> wants to ask
> specific plant history related questions a good list is the 
> archaeobotany
> mailing list. I'm sure my colleagues would enjoy a debate 
> putting our work
> in a practical and useful context. I hope I've read your mail 
> correctly ;-).
> best wishes,
> Lisa
> --------------------------------------------------------------
> --------------
> --------
> Lisa Gray
> Archaeobotanist
> Environmental Archaeology Section
> Museum of London Specialist Services
> TEL: 0207 5669334
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