Artifacts and Artifictions

Every century has a handful of artifacts that define its times.  Whether it be a rudimentary tool shaped from limestone, a broken plate uncovered my archeologists or the Enola Gay tucked safe and shamefully within the walls of the Smithsonian.   If mankind were to uncover the artifacts of the 21st century, say, five hundred years from now, what artifacts might they find, and would they define who we are? Which ones would tell the truth about our culture?  Which ones would mislead future generations to think we are something we are not?  And which ones would last buried deep under the earth long enough to be uncovered in five hundred years the way a gold sword or an arrowhead spear or a skeleton does?
My guess is that all things plastic, coltan and silicone will last.  Which means future humans will know that we were an inventive group that loved convenience, video games and big boobs.  
Luckily for us we live with the safety of knowing that our present is constantly being cataloged, recorded and filmed.  There should be little confusion about what is fact and what is fiction in regards to the 21st century.  In five hundred years our existence will be studied and understood by future generations the way we piece together through art, music, traditions and literature all that we know about the 16th century.  Yes, in five hundred years we will still be here through our artifacts and the pieces of us we leave behind.  Assuming there will be a 26th century, of course.

1 comment:

  1. Taylor: I like this Blog. The historian in me has responded to your musings. I think that to those people living five hundred years from now the dichotomy of this bi-polar world of the 21st century could best be explained by including an I-Phone and a burkha in your collection of artifacts. Simple but to the point.