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The Lausanne-Vidy Roman Museum dusts off the present

What will remain of us in 2000 years? What will tomorrow’s archaeologists understand about our way of life? On Friday, to mark its 30th anniversary, the Lausanne-Vidy Roman Museum is updating the «Future Prior» exhibition that has made the institution famous.

“Back to the Past Future” takes up the same questions raised in 2003 by Laurent Flutsch, former director of the Lausanne Museum who retired in June, and to whom homage is paid. The idea? “Thought-provoking as we engage with the remnants of our civilization while challenging archaeological interpretation,” summarizes a press release as “witty and unconventional.”

“It is widely believed that our world, saturated with images and written information, will leave future historians with innumerable documents, exhaustive and detailed witnesses of our civilization. Nothing is less certain,” reads the presentation of the revelation.

“For more than a century, the chemical composition of paper has condemned it to relatively rapid destruction. Magnetic tape is very fragile, as is digital media. There is no chance that a USB stick or a hard disk buried for 2000 years will remain readable.” , continues the text. And the speed of innovation leads to “gigantic losses” as certain technologies such as CD-ROMs become obsolete.

“Of course, librarians and archivists strive to catalog and digitize, while computer servers store very few of our data remotely. But how many political ruptures, conflicts, catastrophes and other dangers will come in 2000 years and endanger human memory? Except for miraculous exceptions, only the relief texts on glass, ceramics, metal or stone survive”.

Archaeologists in the 41st century will not have it easy. “Indeed, the modern objects that settle in the ground after evacuation and recycling of waste are rare. Many of them are made of synthetic materials, most of which are not preserved for two millennia. Finally, the hectic pace of construction, if it continues, will gradually destroy previous developments”.

As today, archaeologists will analyze the past through scattered fragments, miraculously preserved and found by chance. “Based on these tiny testimonies, they will restore our world, sometimes with accuracy, sometimes with error, inevitably…”

In the exhibition we discover familiar objects that are interpreted according to strict but not always well-founded logics. The picker is associated with the ovens, the casings of guns are flasks and the garden gnomes represent dignitaries or priests.

“Back to the Past Future” runs until September 24, 2023.

This article was published automatically. Source: ats

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