By Sophia Yakumithis
In a Scandinavian history course I took freshman year, we learned about one of archaeology’s biggest blunders: The Kensington Runestone.
In Minnesota, a 202-pound chunk of stone was “discovered” in 1898 by a Swedish farmer who claimed it was covered in 14th century runic text. Widely accepted in the community as an authentic runic inscription, the Kensington Runestone was finally sent to Northwestern University 20 years later to be inspected by professionals. Upon analysis, it was revealed that the runestone was actually a hoax.
This got me thinking. Archaeologists make a lot of assumptions. Remember the Great Serpent Mound? Maybe it was a landfill, we don’t know. Mind you, I’m a history major and I’m not attempting to undermine the research community — years of refining methodological approaches has certainly contributed to strides in the accuracy and credibility of generalized findings. Or so we think.
Centuries from now, people with shovels will inevitably “discover” all the weird millennial things we carry around with us and that don’t biodegrade. Since we keep very little in the way of written records in the digital agee and some international hacker will probably wipe out the internet in years to come, archaeologists will have very little in the way of evidence to work with.
All that said, I’m interested to see what they make of the following:
Will definitely get mistaken for flash drives (while the accurate description is “the reason the humans went extinct”).
The tails and outlet accessory combined could easily confuse phone chargers as some sort of animal remains.
I don’t know why, but I feel like out of context a French Press could be interpreted as perhaps a medical instrument. The pump inside the vessel can be extremely ominous when empty.
You know, the things that shave dead skin off of your feet? Traces of dried up pieces of flesh will probably lead archaeologists to determine these babies as some kind of weapon or artillery measure. At least I hope they do, because that means kids in 3019 will be browsing JSTOR and writing papers about how Ped Eggs contributed to the U.S. Military. I love that image.
Electric toothbrushes? I’m only kidding. Vibrators will prevail as an important piece of historical context and will not be misinterpreted.