Take this as literal, as in actually digging in the dirt and sand.
The song relates to, as says Gabriel, "During this period I discovered the most unbelievable phenomena within myself, characteristics which I value for myself, but also characteristics with which I would rather not be confronted, like unlimited rage, or merciless hatred."
But no such rage or hatred was involved in this digging. Only curiosity and awe at the finds. This led to research, a digging of sorts, for information on practices long changed and nearly lost.
The site was next door to a cemetery, and after the earth and sand was greatly moved for a new development, these things were near the surface!
Very interesting finds, and the mind does want the stories that go along with such things. Thankfully, hubby is a pro researcher, having the interest and curiosity to search and search until every possible thing is found out, every possible theory, scenario, etc. At times, it is tough to keep up with him, but in the end he usually succeeds and we have a much clearer picture of our little treasures.
The full story would be a book, no doubt, so for now I will just say the theory is there was a settlement in this area as far back as the mid 1600's to early 1700's. Yes, these pipe pieces are suspected to be that old! We suspect part of a burial ritual.
It is a hobby that we all enjoy, finding little treasures. I have a whole bunch of pottery pieces that I have found just walking on the beach. The pieces are just rolling in the surf. Some pieces we suspect to be very old, others still old but not as old. The shells, well they are just cool, along with the tiny little sea urchin shell found just washed up on shore.
Hubby has found rocks and glass and has amassed quite the collection. This glass collection he brought back the other day has old bottles, and we suspect pieces of an old glass buoey.
And if there were better regulations here, developers would need to have an assessment done prior to their digging up the earth and sand. But, there is no such environmental assessments required, and the digging will continue, a large condo complex will soon cover any other evidence of a possible settlement. Most just see this stuff as garbage. "Progress" will continue. Evidence of past lives will be buried, the stories with them.
It saddens me, sometimes enrages me, to think that the history will be lost. It seems the government is happy with the history the way they wrote it, and that is that. Our theories of their errors in history will be just ours, and we will continue to wander the beaches and pick up anything that catches our eyes, and perhaps do a little digging along the way.
Because there IS value in digging in the dirt. Both existential, as Gabriel's song makes clear, and real value of touching the history, of learning of the past.