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If our society was abandoned, how long would the artifacts remain?

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posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:48 AM
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Hi all. I'm posting this partly for fun, partly for research into a story I'm writing.

If our society, will all of its technological goodies, were to collapse, and be largely abandoned, how long to you suppose the artifacts left behind would remain?

And more specifically, how long after the collapse would items like computers, microchips, magnetic drives, ect. be usable?



JSR

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:50 AM
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Originally posted by asmeone2
.... how long to you suppose the artifacts left behind would remain?


i think the decomposition rate of plastic would give you a good idea.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:56 AM
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Originally posted by JSR

Originally posted by asmeone2
.... how long to you suppose the artifacts left behind would remain?


i think the decomposition rate of plastic would give you a good idea.


Not everything would be plastic, though.

I would love to read a book, or watch a movie, of scientists trying to find meaning in our culture, long after we were gone.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 11:59 AM
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there is a discovery program on DVD about how the world would change if all human life died out,the plant life would tear most of the things down withing 200 years,we dont make stuff like the ancient pyrimids and such,even those in S.America have had alot of damage from plant life growth.Vines can pull down a building and tear down most anything we make,some reminants would remain but not much.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:03 PM
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According to "Life After People" on the history channel, after 1000 years you'd have to look pretty hard to find anything. It was very surprising to learn how fast things (roads, buildings, etc...) come apart without maintenance.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:08 PM
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Originally posted by tjack
According to "Life After People" on the history channel, after 1000 years you'd have to look pretty hard to find anything. It was very surprising to learn how fast things (roads, buildings, etc...) come apart without maintenance.


Wow, very interesting, I wonder if they tested more than one climate in that show?



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:10 PM
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My opinion, Mother Earth would reclaim herself fairly quickly.. maybe within 200-300 hundred years. Have you ever seen that TV program about Chernobyl? After the citizens abandon that place... I think it was 20 years or so afterwards.. there was trees growing up thru the streets and the buildings concrete was crumbling. Oh yeah.. and there was tons of wildlife there despite the residual radiation.

There are some manmade things tho... that will never breakdown so in that respect, there will always be artifacts.


JSR

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


i would agree. it would make a good movie or book.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:15 PM
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reply to post by JSR
 


I would like to see them peice it together completely wrong. Like they think sports stadiums are religious temples, and the games were actually rituals, or something like that.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:16 PM
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Originally posted by mapsurfer_
My opinion, Mother Earth would reclaim herself fairly quickly.. maybe within 200-300 hundred years. Have you ever seen that TV program about Chernobyl? After the citizens abandon that place... I think it was 20 years or so afterwards.. there was trees growing up thru the streets and the buildings concrete was crumbling. Oh yeah.. and there was tons of wildlife there despite the residual radiation.

There are some manmade things tho... that will never breakdown so in that respect, there will always be artifacts.



I haven't seen the show, but I have seen slideshows. I found it utterly creepy: the place just looked so still, but at the same time, so chaotic.


JSR

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by asmeone2
 


ha hahha. yea.....I often watch those episodes on discovery or history and think, "how do they know that."

"and here is where the most sacred of rituals took place..." yea right, probable where they went to the bathroom. its not an alter, its a place to set the bucket




posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:22 PM
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Yeah.. you know they would get it all wrong.
the new york subway... Humanity's portal to the underworld

Maybe you should write a book.

cool post... thanks!



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:24 PM
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You should try and find the UK Channel 4 documentary 'Life After People' It deals with this question & is really well done


JAK

posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:24 PM
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There was a documentary on this topic:

The Guardian: Life After People

We're watching a show called Life After People (Channel 4), which is all about what happens to this planet after humankind is wiped out. First the dogs starve to death, unless they can escape from their houses, in which case they get eaten by bigger dogs that have already escaped. Or wolves. It's wild out there - lions, tigers, rhinos, all zoo escapees, prowling the streets, driving the other animals higher into the tower blocks. I'm not quite sure how these predators managed to escape - maybe the zoo-keepers unlocked their cages as a parting shot, before becoming extinct.

Next the lights all go out...



It is available on Google video: History.Channel: Life After People

and more information can be found at history.com

Jak



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:42 PM
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Originally posted by mapsurfer_
Yeah.. you know they would get it all wrong.
the new york subway... Humanity's portal to the underworld

Maybe you should write a book.

cool post... thanks!


I wonder what they would make of TV, cell phones, radio towers, light bulbs, and all the other things that make no sense if you don't understand electrical principals.

Anyway, I am encorparating these ideas in the book that I am writing.

A part of that centers around people re-discovering the technology that has been left behind, by essentially reverse-engineering it.

So I was trying to get a feel for not just how long things would be around, but how long they would be able to still function or at least impart the mechanics of their function.

[edit on 21-8-2008 by asmeone2]



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:43 PM
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reply to post by JAK
 


I will try to find that, thanks!



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:44 PM
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Good question, I think that the Twinkie would stand for the 20th century society quite well.



[edit on 21-8-2008 by antar]



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 12:45 PM
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Originally posted by antar
Good question, I think that the Twinkie would stand for the 20th century society quite well.


Or the french fry.

Hah. Oh gosh. That makes me thing of the Futurama episode, where Fry found the interest on the fifty cents in his bank account had compounded into billions.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 01:54 PM
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For a laugh, check out a book called “Motel of Mystery” or something like that. It is by a guy Macauly, MacCauly, who is a children’s book author. He is the same guy whose did a lot of those “How things work” books from the 70’s. Wish I could find the book, but ask at your library. It really gives you a light hearted insight on how our society could be viewed & misunderstood.



posted on Aug, 21 2008 @ 02:52 PM
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I'd like to also recommend Motel of Mystery. It was part of my college reading list. It gives a humerous view of how some things might be misinterpreted.

Remains of our culture. Based on what we can find of previous life, our present on Earth would be detectedable for tens of millions of years. If you went into space and found some of our hardware 10s to 100 of millions of years.

Billions of tons of human made materials are basically indestructible. Looking at Marlowe's chart. Things like bricks, ceramics, cut gems and stone last forever* as do some modern refined metals, plastics and glass. Certain types of radioactive materials have impressive half lives and are not naturally occuring.

Our disruption of the earth will also show up for hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of years, that goes from digging a foundation to cutting mines and tunnels.

Our presence can also be found in pollen and particles found in sedimentation and ice cores.

If you ever go to the Middle East and spend some time walking around the terrain you'll notice broken pottery everywhere, (along with plastic bags, bottles and the odd sheep bone) this stuff goes from a year old to 8,000 years old. It just never goes away! (In Japan you can find 14,000 year old pottery).

*until subduction



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