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First, a spot of background science. The Longitude Problem is exactly identical to the problem of establishing simultaneity on widely separated locations on the Earth's surface, and both prerequisite the existence of a reliable estimate of the Earth's diameter. Certainly Eratosthenes calculated the Earth's diameter in the 3rd Century BC, and other ...


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The Greek astronomers (e.g. Ptolemy) could calculate longitude and latitude using spherical trigonometry. Their calculations are accurate on the assumption that the Earth is a perfect sphere. Our astronomers today believe that the Earth is slightly pear-shaped and consequently arrive at a slightly different calculation of longitude and latitude.


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In addition to the other answers, here's a psychological bit: People today, especially Americans, live in a faster age, with much shorter time scale of things. We build houses in 1 year and don't count on them to survive beyond 20 years. We use gadgets designed to survive 2-3 years before being replaced. This greatly amplifies our appreciation for the ...


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This is a good question. I don't have any hard sources, unfortunately; but I can speculate a bit. If we speak of the extremes to which care and protection of cultural artifacts have been taken today, I would think that the most important reason is reactions against the somewhat careless archaeology of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Seeing how much was ...


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Razie’s answer is somewhat too simplistic. People in the Roman Empire greatly admired artefacts from Greek antiquity. Roman aristocrats filled their villas with Greek vases which were then already 400 years or more old, and treasured them as works of art, not as practical objects. There is a long tradition of collecting ancient works of art in China too.


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There's really a few questions being asked and it would be better to separate them. Why didn't Europeans in the Middle Ages appreciate "antiquities?" First, because archeology hadn't been invented yet and two because it was the Dark Ages. Now, the Coliseum was scavenged because so much knowledge was lost after the collapse of the Roman Empire, the people ...



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