Archive for the ‘Las Vegas’ Category

Mammon’s City

It is the year 5050 CE. The turbulent years between the 20th century and the 50th century CE have seen all sorts of natural and man made calamities, with the result that the memory of ages past has all but vanished. There is however, enormous interest in the ancient history of the 20th and 21st centuries and several teams of archaeologists are working overtime digging the remains of ancient cities and settlements belonging to this period.

Settlements unearthed in places that appear to have been known to the natives as Las Vegas, New York, and Washington DC are causing a lot of excitement. While New York and DC seem to have been somewhat important settlements, it is Vegas that is of special interest as it seems to have been the predominant city of what was then the great civilization of the Americans. There are a lot of enormously large and impressive buildings with wildly discordant architectural styles crammed into one square mile. Surely this was the very nerve center of the American Civilization where all the important decisions were made that reverberated across the length and breadth of the land? In fact, this settlement appears to have had so much influence that cities across the world copied its architecture. Excavations in Europe in the ancient French city of Paris have revealed a building with remarkable likeness to and obviously copied from the one in Vegas. And the settlement of New York has a replica of this big statue of a woman holding a torch-like object that also seems to have been copied from the original in Vegas. But there is one puzzling thing that is unexplained – what are those box-like structures with buttons and keys that one sees in every building and what were they used for?

A maverick archaeologist has an explanation. He believes that Vegas was not really a city of any economic or political importance, but was an entirely hyped up city whose economic basis was to offer visitors a fantasy experience. This is why there are all sorts of buildings with architecture similar to Super Ancient Egypt and the Very Ancient civilization of Rome. He also suggests a hugely shocking idea: the economy of Las Vegas was perhaps built chiefly on gambling. The ruins of the box-like structures are those of ancient and primitive gambling machines that hapless natives with futile dreams of great wealth lost their rent money on. References to these machines have been found in the popular literature of the day. The natives had a charming word for these – “slot machines”.

The most worshipped being in the civilization of the Americas was a god named Mammon who demanded enormous sacrifices from the natives. And what did they sacrifice? There are many possibilities. Human sacrifice, perhaps, or alternatively a sacrifice of one’s material possessions and wealth, family and friendships. The possibilities are endless. Mammon was a demanding God.

And what was the reason for the downfall of this great city? Our maverick is not so sure. It could be that the overall economy tanked, leaving people with little disposable income for gambling and trying to be king for a day in Caesar’s Palace. It could also be that the surrounding desert was unable to support this oasis of wealth and opulence in its midst, causing the natives to abandon it. Or, as is more likely, the God Mammon got tired of his city in the middle of the desert and decided to leave. Who knows?


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