While traveling across the desert to reach a recently discovered site of great antiquity...an archeologist becomes separated from his group. In every direction golden dunes stretch as far as the eye can see and into the horizon. He hopelessly wanders across this endless sea of sand for hours...wondering how on earth this could have happened! The last thing that he remembers is starting to nod off...while sitting on the back of his camel. Yes! He must surely be asleep! But why does this dream feel so very real? And why can he not wake up? The heat and parching thirst wear him down until he feels about ready to collapse.
Miraculously he sees something shimmer in the distance. It begins to look like an oasis with mesmerizing shades of verdant green and aquamarine. He wonders about this mirage...which could well be a vision of delirium or perhaps some phantom of hope. However when the archeologist reaches the source of the vision...it becomes evident this tropical oasis is about as real as the scorching sun baking down on his weary body. For awhile he marvels in delight at this blessing of nature nestled within a barren landscape. It has a crystal clear lake and waterfall surrounded by lush trees with fruit and fragrant flowers.
Even more extraordinary are the adobe living structures...clay pots and vases...woven fabric and other artisanal artifacts. Without the ravages of time...this place appears to be frozen. It also looks like the inhabitants may return any moment. After many hours of study he gleefully discovers many signs of a thriving civilization that pre-date and surpass those from his original destination. When twilight falls the refreshed and exhilarated archeologist reluctantly goes to sleep on the bank. He drifts off into slumber...looking forward to sharing his discoveries with the world.
Only to be suddenly awoken by his traveling group assembled all around him...and laughing at his folly! He has apparently only just fallen off his camel moments before and hit the ground while sleeping. To everyone else he vividly dreamed the whole thing. But he will always believe in some bizarre twist...and of being taken away to another time and place. The beautiful desert oasis and the discoveries that he made there...will haunt him for the rest of his life. Along with the peculiar coin that he later finds in his pocket...as the only proof of his strange adventure.