In his book Statues, Michel Serres links enclosures such as gardens, courtyards, military camps and cemeteries as the ‘basic unit’ of Indo-European culture. He relates gardens to original statues that are erected for the dead and where we start to recognise significant ‘objects’ in the world. For example:
Each garden marks an epoch in the dawn of history, when the unknown forefathers of our forgotten ancestors were sowing space with menhirs, betyls, cromlechs, or cairns, megaliths that defined its singularities which were occupied for the first time by an animal recognising at once its world and its dead.
For Foucault, the garden of antiquity is the ‘smallest parcel of the world and the whole world at the same time’. For Serres:
A garden therefore projects in its figure the state of the world that it forms.
Serres goes on to show how statues and burial grounds are original markers of place. For example, he reflects on how Paris is built on the remains of the dead – literally billions of mixed bones that you can visit today in the catacombs – and with pleasing coincidence compares this crowding of bones with a range of heterotopias mentioned by Foucault:
…to the boarding school and the barracks, to the hospital or brothel, where even to go to sleep you’re crushed.
Serres, M (2015 ) Statues: The Second Book of Foundations. London: Bloomsbury.