Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Reading Tracking Telling

For the last month or so I have been deeply immersed in the theories of reading. What it is to read, how we read and what we experience when we read? This will be the main concern for a chapter in my thesis (ohh so far away it seems). Anyway, something that struck me the other day was the idea of reading a game and playing a game. They are two different things I think. Then came the idea of the way a tracker reads tracks. In the 1860's my great great gandfather successfully tracked a man who had murdered someone from the Condamine River in central Queensland to the South Australian boarder, a distance of over a thousand kilometers. He read the signs all the way as he attempted to reach his goal, finding the man. This I can see as having similarities to a game.
Then today I saw this:

Ice Age footprints tracked in NSW national park

The world's largest collection of human fossil footprints have been found in a national park in western New South Wales.

The prints are 19,000 to 23,000-years-old and date back to the Ice Age.

They were found in the Mungo National Park at Willandra and the site contains more than 450 well preserved footprints of men, women and children.

New South Wales Environment Minister Bob Debus says the site shows a large group of people walking and interacting with one another.

"We see children running between the tracks of their parents, the children running in meandering circles as their parents travel in direct lines," he said.

"It's a most extraordinary snapshot of a moment or several moments in the life of Aboriginal people living on the edge of the lake in western New South Wales 20,000 years ago."
ABC News

This is reading the tracks to tell a story. Emotions are evoked in the running children, a "snapshot" is provided (just like the ones any family takes on holidays) but we will never find the makers of the tracks. We do however have their story, from reading the tracks.

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