Quitting the Siege Game
One detail got to me. We learned about a stronghold in Latvia that had been besieged by Russian troops in the time of Ivan the Terrible, the 16th century. Things started to look grim for the defenders, and they had heard stories of what it was like being captured by Ivan's troops. So someone decided they'd be better off dead. Particularly the women and children. There was no shortage of gunpowder in the stronghold.
According to written sources, 300 women and children died in the blast. And recently, excavations have uncovered victims: the skeleton of a woman sprawled on top of the skeleton of a child. That part of the keep was never re-built afterwards.
And I suddenly realised that I wouldn't think twice myself. I'd happily shelter my kids with my body if it looked even remotely like it would improve their chances.
Wow, I guess I'm a dad!
[More blog entries about parenting, archaeology, Latvia, arkeologi, Lettland.]