82 Years Ago, the Crypt of Civilization Was Sealed

82 Years Ago, the Crypt of Civilization Was Sealed

It’s been 82 years since the Crypt of Civilization was shut. It will not reopen until the year 8113 CE. Dr. Thornwell Jacobs was astonished by how little authentic knowledge about past civilizations had remained when researching ancient Egypt. He concluded that the pyramids and a few written tablets discovered in ancient Assyria provided nearly all of our information of life in Ancient Egypt.

It seemed to him that it would be beneficial – in fact, it would be our “archaeological responsibility” – to leave behind records of our lives for future civilizations to examine. He’d come up with the idea for the first modern-day time capsule, which he would later coin. Jacobs began working on the time capsule at Phoebe Hearst Hall at Oglethorpe University in Georgia, where he was president. It was a big chamber, hidden under a disused swimming pool that would be filled with items from 1930s life and knowledge of the last 6,000 years.

The vault was built to resemble a pharaoh’s tomb, and it included recordings of Artie Shaw, a prominent clarinetist in the 1930s, videos depicting photographic events from 1898 forward, and 100 microfilm volumes. A little replica of Donald Duck was among the everyday relics. A “book of records” was also left for future humans, or a new species of hyper-intelligent canines, whomever is in control at the time, identifying and detailing all the things and their uses.

The vault was characterized by Hudson as “pulsing with vitality it’s a live and breathing creature. It’s greater than all of us and older than I am. Can you envision a cultural anthropologist uncovering the vault in the year 8113? It’d be like finding a gold mine. Dental floss, for example, would be intriguing.” He knew that there would very certainly be a linguistic barrier between us (dead) and whoever found the capsule (alive), rendering the books inside useless paperweights. He dubbed the approach he picked a “language integrator.” The hand-cranked gadget displays photographs of items together with the English name for that object. At the same time, a voice on the phonograph would say the name loudly.

The time capsule was planned to open in the year 8113 CE. Jacobs noted that the Egyptian calendar had been in use for 6,177 years when he came up with the concept in 1936. He wanted whomever (or whatever) opened the vault to have a peek of what life was like for the Ancient Egyptians in their day. The vault was sealed four years after he conceived the idea, when the globe was engulfed in World War II, with the hopes of being discovered millennia later. The letter Jacobs put in the crypt was a sharp contrast to the hopeful vision of humanity’s lifespan. “The world is burying our civilisation forever, and we leave it to you here in this crypt.”