What will archaeology look like 1,000 years from now?

When most people think of archaeology, they tend to think of people digging in the dirt for shards of pottery and uncovering ancient temples. Eventually, though, when everything is said and done, there are only so many things that have been buried over the course of human history (or at least only so many objects that survived over the years). Does that mean that archaeology will die at some point in the future?

I’d like to think that that isn’t the case.

I’d like to think that 1,000 year from now archaeology will be digital. Rather than dig through the dirt, the digital archaeologists of the future will sift through the 1’s and 0’s of all of the information we’re creating right now. Instead of looking for the shards of the pottery that some ancient woman owned, they’ll be looking for the blogs that some ancient person wrote.

Think of all of the thoughts and information we’re pouring into a digital ether. Once you die, it doesn’t disappear. When I eventually die, this blog won’t automatically cease to exist. It will remain online indefinitely. Even if the internet ceases to exist, all of the data on the internet is still physically stored somewhere.

Modern day archeologists look at the tools, buildings, and art of ancient man to better understand how he lived and what he understood. The archeologists of the future will look to our blogs, our websites, our computer programs, etc. to better understand how we conceptualized the world. It’s interesting to think about.

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4 thoughts on “What will archaeology look like 1,000 years from now?

  1. Interesting. I am two things among many, an amateur astronomer, and an amateur archeologist. As a by product of the line of work I was in for over 30 years (commercial diver, river diver, black water) I found and studied many stone artifacts from as recent as 1500 years ago all the way to the paleo period back to 12-13000 years ago. So this line of thought is very intriguing. I just cant imagine data mining being that exciting though. Except in sociology studies. Now that I think about it, perhaps stone tools, knives, arrowheads, and occaisional bone tools, arent that exciting to a lot of people either, guess it depends on your perspective.

    It is kinda strange to consider, how these future archeologists will be able to identify, and categorize the things which we really take for granted now, in the distant future. great post Ryan.

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