The solution hole is a fossil site, created when nature dissolved the oolitic rock and opened up a cavity in the earth, only to see it filled with whatever dropped in, or whatever was thrown in.
It can cover an opening into the past, or sometimes obscure a necessary artifact of the present.
We differentiate a solution hole from a sinkhole in that the latter may open up quite suddenly, taking down a chunk of highway, a car, a house. Conversely, a solution hole takes eons to form, eroded with the patience of water percolating through limestone or other suitable soluble rock. Florida gets more than its share of solution holes, as does the Yucatán peninsula across the Gulf of Mexico, where they are called cenotes. The bedrock in both places consists of oolite, a sedimentary rock that over time can dissolve from a solution made up of rainfall and the acidity of decaying plants. Composed of the skeletal remains of eons of marine organisms as they died and accumulated on the ocean floor, the rock piled up. When eventually the sea level dropped the rock was exposed to the relentless forces of storm and tide. Solution holes form in almost perfect circles, may drop a few feet, or a few hundred, and may be permanently filled with water, or just some of the time, or have a completely dry floor.
What is of interest to archaeologists is the debris that falls into the solution holes, or that is thrown in it. This includes once living creatures. Animals, for instance, fall by accident and break a leg, starve to death, or drown in the pool. People throughout history may also fall in by accident, or might be thrown in by design. Along with the skeletons, artifacts of gold and jade are to be discovered. Cenotes keep for us the secrets of untold sacrificial victims.
We, the founders of Solution Hole Press, claim to be the archaeologists of text. We sift back through history and retrieve what was discarded into the metaphorical solution holes of societies, what previous generations attempted to toss into oblivion, either from what was deemed heretical or dangerous by those in power, or from long neglect and indifference. Some of what was jettisoned may yet endure, in our time, through a deserving resurrection. An item may shed light on the society that abandoned it, or that wanted it snuffed. The disappearance of people as well as their beliefs was contrived by those who wished to alienate them, to silence them, to destroy them.
If we are to find that some of the items we bring up to the light were indeed worthy of being forgotten, we shall at least have judged them by the lights of our society, perhaps freer and more liberal than those that preceded us, and if a few bits of jetsam are judged to have some continuing worth or significance, then we shall have succeeded in our endeavor to right the wrongs of history.
Quotes from the past:
Oui, tout est destiné à l’Oubli, à ce tyran muet et cruel qui suit la Gloire de près, et dévore à ses yeux ses amants et ses favoris. Que dis-je? La Gloire elle-même n’étant que du bruit, c’est-à-dire de l’air agité, elle flotte comme l’atmosphère autour du globe, et son cours change et souffle sans cesse, promenant les noms et les renommées, et finissant par les disperser. Rivarol, Pensées inédites
Yes, all is destined for Oblivion, for that mute and cruel tyrant who follows Glory closely, and devours in front of her eyes her lovers and her favorites. What am I saying? Glory herself is nothing but noise, no more than agitated air, so she floats like the atmosphere surrounding the globe, and her path changes and blows constantly, taking away names and fame, and eventually dispersing it all. Rivarol, Unpublished Thoughts
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.”
—Percy Bysshe Shelley