The emergence of nation-states in the nineteenth century marked the beginning of national history. The more one can trace and prove the existence of national feeling, the more firmly the country will be in the world. Governments spared no expense in populating the public sphere with statues of proud lords—usually on horseback, sword in hand—and history in school became synonymous with a faded streak projected from the moment there was none to the moment. A distant past in which everything, almost intentionally, became what it is now.
Sometimes it seems as if this Flemish government wants to take this region back to the 19th century. As if there are no waiting lists in health care, the poverty line does not move and the climate will manage itself, and a large government budget is put on it to devise a law on the one hand and to depict the history of this region in a spectacular way on the other. With a sound historical stage show, encounters with mammoths – wow, these are BIG! – Go down to the depths – Wow, that’s deep! – It will be in the coming weeks Flanders story unfolding before our eyes. Although the area is excessively paved, Tom Waes would cross Flanders in a four-wheel drive like a modern-day rider. The bulbous carriage and rubber boots he wears always symbolize the unnecessaryness, perhaps subconsciously, of the basis of this whole project.
Tom Weiss’s bulging wagon and rubber boots symbolize their possibly subconsciously redundant basis for the story of Flanders.
History cannot be rooted, it is always pluralism, never unification. Anyone who prefers to tell “the story” rather than “one of the stories” will soon come across the dichotomy between science and myth-making. Also because a lot is not clear due to the lack of concrete materials. Sometimes we can’t know what people who lived in the past did. This is especially true of Wes’ first time traveling.
In a typical Limburg residential area, an area with tightly manicured gardens and a developing strip, he puts on a thick coat and suddenly finds himself on an unrecognizable plain. An icy meadow, without trees and for the time being without people. It’s the biggest leap Wes will make in the series, as he details, 38,000 years ago in time. He says that Flanders looked completely different then. Logical, because it wasn’t there yet. But, go on without worrying, something special happened, because we had visitors. And there you see them slippers across the frozen steppe, a group of people in animal skins, with dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin. They could be the first inhabitants of these regions, who entered southern Limburg via Maasvlakte.
An “informed guess,” as one archaeologist calls it. in a Flanders story Scientists constantly smooth out the heroism with which Wes treads through the past. Though sometimes their restrained analyzes seem like labia, as if to grant the intrepid narrator permission to take the shortest path between science and myth.
Because only this story about the first Homo sapiens who moved from the Meuse to the Scheldt reveals the whole problem of the “Flanders story”. For 450,000 years another type of human lived in the area. As geneticist Martin Laramuso explained in a conversation with Wes, we almost all carry some of her genetic material. Only, traces of its existence are found only in Wallonia, in the Spy and in the German Neanderthals. This is where the rewriting of history really begins, because in order to tell the story of Flanders, you have to start far outside Flanders. When another archaeologist explained, there was no such thing as a region. Not to mention the national drifts. Those were the days.
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