A Sneer of Cold Command and a preview for things to come

Hola Amigos!


I’ve been thinking about monuments lately and wondering what they might tell us about the past.  Inspired by a poem I read recently,  I’m giving a paper at the upcoming Society for American Archaeology conference where I will present a study evaluating the size of monuments at the Carson site (my research site).  I won’t give my conclusions here, but I think the large earthen mounds at my site were likely sponsored by some very powerful leaders whose “sneer of cold command” can still be read in those earthen tumuli.   That’s all I have to say for now,  but I’ll leave you with Shelly’s sonnet which lead me to this paper.


I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear —
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s