The Future of Archaeology
It is the year 5013.
Despite several hundred World Wars, twelve Ice Ages, three robot takeovers, seven alien invasions, and an unfortunate but brief worldwide prohibition on bacon; human beings have survived.
The Earth, along with its sister colony on Venus, is experiencing her 177th recorded Period of Enlightenment – a time of flourishing advances in science, art, philosophy, and, ever since the recent eradication of male pattern baldness, cosmetology.
With interest in ancient history on an upswing, more young scholars have chosen to study Archaeology. One aspiring student, Fizzeq 7.5, is the Principal Investigator of an archeological dig that has captured the world’s attention.
Mr. Fizzeq is leading the data recovery at a site located at Sector 52b, formerly known as the Shady Acres subdivision of Paramus, New Jersey.
Since the Great Ocean receded, evidence of an ancient civilization has been uncovered, dating back to the 21st Century. Although most material remains have eroded, a curious substance known as “plastic” is conspicuously present in the strata, shedding light on the ethnography of this primitive society.
After breaking ground, the archeological team uncovered an assemblage of plastic artifacts indicating that the humans of this century were quite small in stature. A veritable fleet of tiny red cars and several hundred pastel colored houses, along with countless itty-bitty kitchenettes and teensy-weensy tool benches were unearthed – all still bearing the manufacturer’s mark, “Little Tykes” -- clearly indicating that the humanoids of this era were no taller than three feet.
Also, a staggering array of plastic bottles littered the excavation site. Mr. Fizzeq found that every bottle contained traces of H2O, despite proof that there was an abundance of easily accessible fresh water in this area.
Even more puzzling was the discovery of a veritable plethora of plastic bags, each one tied in a knot, containing petrified canine fecal material, more commonly known as, “doggie doo-doo.” Mr. Fizzeq planned to further research why this tiny ancient culture felt the need to bag up and preserve this naturally prolific substance.
After all, everyone poops.
Other items found in copious amounts: sensible footwear labeled “Crocs,” beverage implements known as K-cups, Ikea furniture, Tupperwear containers, defunct television remotes, and molded plastic lawn furniture.
But the most amazing discovery was found just beneath the excavation’s datum point. Deep in the ancient strata of one of the housepits (a converted split level, incidentally) lay the well-preserved remains of an ancient tool of communication, known as an “iPhone.”
Mr. Fizzeq knew that, by extracting the data from the iPhone, he could effectively reveal a complete chronology of 21st century humans that would blow the top off the archaeological world.
However, exhaustive laboratory testing only disclosed an acronymic language of colloquial terms including “idk,” “lol,” “srsly,” and “vom.”
That, and several dozen downloads bearing the common tag “twerk.”
Despite his disappointment, Mr. Fizzeq went on to successfully finish his doctoral thesis, aptly entitled, “An archeological analysis of 21st Century culture: The Dimly-Lit Ages.”