The ancient sanctuary of Epidaurus is now, quite understandably, primarily renowned for its extraordinary fourth century BC theatre which has, by accident or design, perfect acoustics. There is much else to see at the site, which is still being excavated, and which was for about eight centuries a renowned therapeutic centre. Its rise and persistent renown have been the subject of much study. Personally, I find its decline and rediscovery somehow just as fascinating. How could it be that a whole metropolis gradually and almost entirely disappeared under soil and trees? Why were the dressed stones of the theatre not plundered and re-used? Imagine the thrill of the 1829 French Scientific Expedition that gradually realised it had uncovered an intact fourth century BC theatre! Sitting under an ancient oak amid the ruins, I got the same sense I had had walking among the jumbled ruins of ancient Athens. There are just so many dressed stones and pieces of marble, and each of them represents goodness knows how much human labour; scattered about are the results of millions, perhaps billions, of man hours of labour. At the end of No Country For Old Men Sheriff Ed Tom Bell recalls ‘a stone water trough in the weeds by the side of the house’ which he ‘got to thinking about’: ‘I don’t know how long it had been there. … You could see the chisel marks in the stone. It was hewed out of solid rock… Just chiselled out of the rock. And I got to thinking about the man that done that.’ Shelley said it all in Ozymandias: ‘boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.’