Peter VanRysdam / Digital Marketing / July 29th, 2007

Is the Future of Archaeology Online?

I read a pretty sad article this evening about a topic I’d never really considered.  What happens to a person’s Web site when they die?  The easy answer is when they no longer pay their hosting bill, the site is taken down.  But that’s no longer the case with the boom of social networking.  This article talks about a few examples of these situations, including a site called MyDeathSpace.com that actually archives pages of people who have passed away.

Sorry to bring the mood down on the blog here, but the point of my post is not that site.  I got to thinking about the future of archaeology and how the interactive age will change that science in years to come.  No, I’m no philosopher.  Just a bit curious.  And to my amazement, the great journalists at the Onion have also considered this question:

Recently Unearthed E-Mail Reveals What Life Was Like In 1995

The Onion

Recently Unearthed E-Mail Reveals What Life Was Like In 1995

KNOXVILLE, TN—Archaeologists say the ancient Internet users must have struggled to understand the frightening new technology.

As amusing as that article is, there’s already some “real” archaeology taking place through the Internet archives.  This page is a collection of “Ancient History” from the early days of the net.  Pretty amusing and interesting stuff!

I can just see the news a few hundred years from now…

Archaeologists Uncover Primitive Data Storage Device: A Window to the Past
Researchers in Southern California have unearthed a Sony “Memory Stick,” an ancient storage device used to hold data in the 21st century.  The card, which is believed to hold photographs, has a storage capacity of just 1 Gigabyte (only 0.0000010 petabytes in today’s terms).  Scientists hope the images on the card will provide a glimpse in to the lives of the people from this intriguing time in the World’s history…..

Who knows.  Hopefully no one archives my blog.  Not sure what future generations would get out of any of my ramblings.