"The human mind has changed very little in thousands of years, and basic desires and instincts remain the same, with certain societal patterns repeated endlessly. 'We're just a component of a much longer trajectory than we realize,' Adams said. 'We think that this moment is special, that everything has led to this point. But our here and now is just a blip along the continuum.'"
My note: This New Yorker article was about recent archaeological expeditions in Egypt, about looters over the millennia, the current state of Egyptian politics, etc. The quote above reminded me of viewing the extensive permanent Egyptian collection at the Metropolitan Museum in NYC in 2008 or so for the first time: As a younger person, with only surface knowledge of the (I youngly thought) dramatic, glamorous pharaohs, I'd always thought that the Egyptian civilization as a whole was magical, mystical... But upon viewing said exhibit: There was so much shitty, everyday detritus there! 2000-year-old shopping lists and graffiti and cheap trinkets... just like today!