National Geographic : 2012 Jul
LETTERS Phoenician city-state, felt threatened and considered this an intrusion. A combined fleet of Etruscans and Carthaginians attacked Alalia. A great sea battle ensued that ended in a draw. However, the Phocaeans suffered serious losses and withdrew to the south of France, where they founded Massilia (modern-day Marseille). NICK ALEXANDER Oak Park, Illinois Many Marseillais, and others, believe the city was founded by Phoenicians, based on indications that they may have spent time in the area in the eighth and seventh centuries B.C. But we missed the opportunity to clarify that the current city was actually founded by Greek Phocaeans from Asia Minor in 600 B.C. NEXT: Monument Just who has the bigger obelisk, partner? You state the Washington Monument is the world's tallest freestanding stone structure. You shame Texas one-upmanship because, as any Lone Star type person knows, the San Jacinto Monu- ment, located on the pristine Houston Ship Channel near the Bayou City, is faced with stone, has no external support, and is two good Texans taller (nearly 12 feet) than the Washington Monument. ROBERT TAYLOR Houston, Texas While taller at roughly 570 feet, the San Jacinto Memorial Monument is not a freestanding stone structure: It has a poured concrete center faced in stone. Erratics I live at the bottom of ancient Glacial Lake Missoula, and until the recent issue arrived I thought I was the only one who loved erratics. I have painted about 30 portraits of these gentle giants resting in a mule pasture north of town. They take on a wonderful and mysterious presence in the first snow of winter. Our erratics were said to have arrived on ice rafts, then tumbled down to the bottom of the lake. R. WADE NELSON Thompson Falls, Montana Interesting to read that glaciers formed during the most recent ice age started melting around 21,000 years ago. We must be naive to think we can stop them from melting. JOE LANDINO Columbia, North Carolina Rhino Horn Trade For anybody who has looked on the unmitigated failure of a legal trade in ivory to reduce elephant poaching, the pros- pect of permitting a similar trade in rhino horn can only inspire a sense of déjà vu. Rhinos teetered on the brink of extinction once in the past 30 years, but the current crisis has an added dimension---the involvement of organized international criminal syndi- cates in countries that are neither range states nor major consumer markets, syndicates speculating on the demise of the rhino by stockpiling horn. MARY RICE Executive Director Environmental Investigation Agency London, England Poaching is a disgusting and cruel practice, especially when what is being taken from the animals offers a hypothetical cure for hangover and fever. MIRA PAUL Pine, Colorado When is the world going to play hardball with the butchers involved in the rhino horn trade? Solution number one: Put out a bulletin announcing that toxic rhino horns have been sold into the black market. Why would you buy a product that would make you violently ill? Solution number two: Develop a counterfeit rhino horn and saturate the market, making the stocks worthless. BILL CODY Camillus, New York Marseille As an ancient historian, I would like to make a correction about the city's past. Marseille was not founded by the Phoenicians but rather by their enemies the Greeks. The misinformation is due to the similar name of the Greek city-state of Phocaea that founded Marseille. In the sixth century B.C. the Phocae- ans established the colony of Alalia in Corsica. Carthage, a When is the world going to play hardball with the butchers involved in the rhino horn trade?