Tuesday 11 June 2024

Cosplayer Content Creator Poses Jungle Ruins Exploration on Tourist Site

Writing from Texas, Mr Luke Caverns [@lukecaverns] accuses me of "toxic achaeology" for being concerned with context in what I write, as an archaeologist, in the public domain. This guy, after doing some "cultural anthropogy" course, has apparently made a career for himself making archaeology-related "content" - including publishing similarly judgemental material about others too. So it is interesting to look at his own activities in their context. My attention was caught by a recent self-published You Tube film where he is cosplaying as an intrepid jungle explorer ("I've got my snake boots on"):  Exploring an Abandoned Ancient Temple in the Jungle ( 915 Likes, 8,885 Views18h ago)
In this video, Eli and I come across an abandoned ancient palace/temple in the jungles outside of the Maya site "Kohunlich". This is one of my favorite videos we shot on this expedition.
Shockingly, at the very beginning, he is filmed huffing and puffing, 
               ufff, a stiff climb         
climbing around on this protected site
 and throwing a loaded rucksck blindly into an opening in the ancient ruins to come thudding down on the floor before he hauls himself through the hole. All this just to make his YouTube "content", a bit later on he is shown clambering around on and in the ruins at Kohunlich, descernding a steep and low tunnel with no hard hat on. Deep in the jungle, he's filmed dramitically waving a stick at snakes [are they live snakes, or are they photos of snakes?]. His audience is impressed, to judge by the comments.  

But, dear reader, you too can "come across abandoned ruins deep in the jungle" and when you've done pretending to be an intrepid cosplay explorer, can go and get a cool drink in the hotel/restaurant complex just a stone's throw away from this popular tourist attraction. Or you can 'visit it' on Google Street View, it is well-covered. It's nice to know that apart from the restaurant there are toilets by the coach park.

Indeed, if you go there on Google Earth (18°25'9.22"N  88°47'27.40"W), you'll see that this snake-infested jungle depicted in the film is a relatively narrow strip in a thinned forest complex between grassland and fields. In size it is about a quarter of my own Bielany Forest on the edge of Warsaw (where, Mr Caverns, there are poisonous snakes too, though the wild boar are also a serious treat at certain times of the year). 

This film raises a number of issues about the use of ancient sites for commercial activities, and there  surely should be rules about clambering around on the ancient walls, risking their erosion and damage. 


Lucy R. Fisher said...

This looks like a very interesting blog, but the design is APPALLING!!!! Mainly the writing is too small and there is not enough white space.

Paul Barford said...

The design is a standard Google Blogspot template. You do know you can adjust the size of the writing that appears on your screen don't you? But thanks for your comments.

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