The perfect campsite...or more


Sep 30, 2014
As we drive to the trailhead, the radio stations began to drift off into static and fading holy roller broadcasts....and we've taken to listening to lectures on CDs about various topics. One of the recent series of lectures is about ancient cities, from CataHayuk in Turkey to Knossos on Crete...

And the archeologists always seem to make a big deal about the orientation of these cities and temples---facing the rising sun in the East, open to the setting sun in the West, oriented North South around a central axis...
And we couldn't help thinking that this may not be quite so rooted in ritual and religion as they seem to imply. When we pick a campsite, one of the things we look for is morning sun, to help us get up and get warm in the morning. And views of the sunset (and a little warming light at the end of the day) are also a good idea.

Meanwhile, where we live in Napa, the grape-growers know to plant their views on a North/South axis so each side of the vine gets equal sun, and the grapes on one side don't get burned...

So is the photo above a nice campsite, or is it a temporary temple?

It seems like these are all things that people who lived their lives without electric lights would understand and internalize quite quickly. But is it religion? Or is it just good common sense?
Good question. Being more of a practical minded person, I would guess that what was practical was used, and perhaps later gained some religious significance. The reason for feeling this way is Darwinistic. If it wasn't practical back in the day, then it may have been costly from a survival viewpoint, hence eventually leading to a demise of that civilization. But I'm sure its a lot more complex than that as any archaeologist or anthropologist could expound upon. I sure do love that morning sun, though.
Orienting my tent to the morning sun is something I always forget to do, but wish I had every morning I camp.
Helps get me up and helps dry the rain fly from any rain or morning dew.
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