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Strauss's avatar

What will be our archaeological legacy?

Asked by Strauss (20327points) April 17th, 2014

Here’s the scenario: you are an archaeologist, 20000 years into the future. You know that your civilization has evolved for approximately 5000 years, as determined by recorded history, and you have achieved a world-wide civilization, with high technology. There is no concrete evidence of any type of civilization before the current one, but there are a lot of unknown “mounds” (actually massive landfills or trash heaps) from what are considered “prehistoric” (by your standards) societies. What would survive that you and your colleagues find in these mounds?

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16 Answers

GloPro's avatar

In the United States? Stadiums.

Seek's avatar

The massive island of water bottles and soiled diapers in the Pacific.

Berserker's avatar

Plastic grocery bags. Don’t those things last forever? People will be like, now see here, these were used as ceremonial masks whenever people wanted to pay homage to their god ’‘Lolcat’’.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Are we talking 2,000 years or 20,000 years??

If only 2,000 years I suspect what they might find is some type of glass bottle, maybe even intact. Construction tile, be it for floors or roofs, and spent nuclear fuel cells.

In 20,000 years, spent nuclear fuel cells.

zenvelo's avatar

Toxic manufactured chemicals and building materials. And plastic everywhere.

syz's avatar


ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Not much would be left. Stainless steel parts, nickels, fossils. Some radioactive isotopes in the soil and rock strata. There would be a mass extinction noticed in the fossil record. Possibly some stone monuments. That’s about it.

ragingloli's avatar

Lots of plastic and nuclear waste.

LuckyGuy's avatar

The depleted uranium bullets fired by the A-10 Warthog will be around for hundreds of thousand of years.

Blondesjon's avatar

Jesus, McDonalds, and Pepsi.

gondwanalon's avatar

Porcelain toilet bowls will be the prevalent artifact left. Millions and millions of them everywhere. We will therefore become known as the Bowl People.

Judi's avatar

The Americas worshiped a mouse with huge worship compounds dedicated to him in California and Florida.

rojo's avatar

@Blondesjon I can’t believe that you put Jesus in the same category as Pepsi and McDonalds! That is like equating :Angie with This.

Strauss's avatar

what about Zippo? Will the flint-and-steel-next-to-a-wick technology survive in a recognizable form?

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The ss ones will still be around

Ruallreb8ters's avatar

People in the future will be digging for relics and find huge concrete tombs. They will drill and cut their way to find the treasures inside. The reward? Radioactive waste and the treasure hunters will all die.

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