Aelius Rufus Visits the Future, part 3
After admiring the artefacts, we took the elevator up to the glassed discus (you can see the tower in the background of the picture with the recruits here). Constructions to move people and goods to a higher level were not unknown to us, but this elevator covered a greater hight than anything I'd seen - 34 metres, and again I wondered how many slaves it would take to move it so fast. But Merlinus told us there were no more slaves in the future but the elevator, cranes and many other machines worked with something called electricity.
The view from the tower was splendid. Merlinus pointed ahead to a flat area with lines of stone and explained that was our fort, or what was left of it. During time people had taken the stones from our buildings and erected new houses on the area, and those had been taken down and rebuilt many times over until the existence of a Roman fort was all but forgotten.
Segedunum, foundation outlines of the fort
But some people remembered and researched, and during a new phase of construction where old houses were pulled down, excavations took place and remains of the Roman fort were discovered. Since the foundations were still pretty much intact (albeit not much more than those), it was decided to mark them and build the tower so people could get an overview of the fort from above. Archaeologists also reconstructed a Roman style bath and a little section of Hadrian's Great Wall. The park was opened to the public in 2000, Merlinus told us, and has developed into one of the main tourist attractions at the Wall.
We could distinguish the outlines of the headquarters and the commander's building in the foreground, and the barracks where we first entered the future back to the left. Everything looked small from here, and the tourists walking around resembles children's toys. View towards the harbour with part of the fort's outer wall outlines
The white house outside the fort is the reconstructed bath house
Tourists seem to abound in the future even more than the Romans who visit Greece. And no Roman ever got the idea to dig in the ground for shards of old amphorae
. Though I began to wonder what you might find in those old graves in Aegypt.
We moved our gaze towards the Tinea river they now call Tyne, and the harbour. Everything had become so large and wrought of steel and iron. If we could move goods in amounts like that, our supply problems would come to an end. Too bad we could not capture an engineer from the future and have him build some cranes and ships for us. Merlinus grinned at my suggestion and murmured something about 'plotbunny'.
The weather was something that had not changed in the future. We could have seen to Arbeia, Merlinus told us, but for the low clouds. Yet the view over the Tinea winding its way west was splendid enough. I had walked along it in a time where there were few houses outside the Roman forts and the vici
near them, and most of the indigenous buildings were mere huts. Tyne river at Wallsend
On the street of the other side vehicles moved that were not drawn by horses or oxen. "They use combustion engines," Merlinus said. "Basically, they burn that black liquid you find in the Arab deserts and make the cars run."
Gaius shook his head. "This is all so strange. Can we visit the bath? I might feel more at home there."
Merlinus agreed. But I caught myself wanting to ride in such a car. Continued here