Andy did you hear about this one?

By: Peggy Nelson
December 3, 2009


[still from Le Voyage dans la Lune, 1902, by Georges Méliès]

We believe that it was a largely ceremonial site, as we have found no evidence of agriculture or permanent habitation. And in addition to the ruins, we have found more prints. You will remember the recent “footprint wars” that fiercely divided the academic community, with some arguing for rudimentary ambulation, mere “steps,” while others divined patterns, evidence of dancing and a sophisticated culture.

Thanks to advances in light recovery, we have been able to view video transmissions from the era and earlier. The light record shows a strong tradition of ceremonial dance, with older transmissions displaying what we think is the surface of the neighboring planet.

[filmed by Robert Gardner, 1951]

The slow-motion hops and leaps, which some had initially attributed to low gravity or frame rate, may now be evaluated in their correct cultural context, as can the raising of a single striped ceremonial (and rather abstract) “feather” on a pole. The costumes have not yet been fully deciphered, but recent theories suggest the dancers may have been expressing a totemic relation with the native insectoid Selenites. This could explain the relative compactness of the site, as only a single kinship band may have needed to journey that far.

[Sea of Tranquility by Luke Powers]


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