One of the great things about living in this city is exploring not just spatially, but temporally as well. For the past two years we have taken the students to Urban Seed, which is situated at 116 Lt Bourke St. This building has had an interesting history and it's fun to tell the kids what activities went on here.
Previous to being the home of Urban Seed, an organisation helping homeless and addicts, it was Ancient Times House. From 1954 till 1999, it used to house a collection of artifacts from ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean. It famously housed a mummified child. This collection was put together by the Australian Institute of Archaeology. This sounds like a genuine scientific collaboration trying to unravel the past using the time honoured process of critical enquiry. But you would be mistaken. It was basically set up to "prove" that the bible is true.
It used the same logic and archaeological evidence of guys like Sir William Ramsay who is always portrayed as a former atheist who came to believe that the bible was true after much research. Whether he was or not a rabid atheist is disputable. Needless to say, archeology as a science has evolved dramatically since Sir William's time of the late 19th century. His evidence that the bible, more specifically Luke, is true is that place names match. Does this mean that Shane Maloney's books are true because they contain real places? Hang on, didn't I seen Murray Whelan walking down Sydney Rd ? A friend of mine, the Stallion, was once shown a copy of the Ten Commandments (in 1991) on small tablets as they would have been originally written, or so the curator said. Wow. Too bad that there is no current archaeological evidence at all that the exodus happened. In fact, the evidence points against it. The bits and pieces of this collection are mostly housed at Latrobe Uni.
Before housing these artifacts, I've been informed that the building was the home of the Communist Party during the time that Menzies tried to outlaw it (the party, not the building). Is there anyone out there that can confirm this?
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