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Parkeology Digs Up Time Capsule—While We Still Care

Humans are a funny breed. They commemorate important events by burying a collection of favorite objects in the ground for the purpose of forgetting about them for decades, if not centuries—similar to how they bury all their garbage at the city dump. As it turns out, the only people who care about what’s in the time capsule generations later, after it’s discovered, are historians and anthropologists, who are a breed unto themselves.

Locked time capsule_Parkeology_Balboa Park_Kate ClarkThis time capsule ritual is diametrically opposed to the canine burying behavior. Yes, we do bury things we consider special, particularly food treats and toys. But never to forget about them—merely to store them and keep them safe until later. And by “later,” I mean days or weeks, not centuries.

This is why I’m really digging Kate Clark’s new Parkeology project. She has organized a Time Capsule Ceremony this Friday, January 27, 6:30–8:30pm, to examine this odd human behavior and determine whether it’s more worthwhile to dig up time capsules within our own lifetimes, like any self-respecting pooch would.

With the help of Park Ranger Kim Duclo, Clark will open a 1999 time capsule from the Y2K era of the San Diego Park and Recreation Administration. The ceremony will take place in the Presidents Way parking lot, near the “Graffiti Bridge” pedestrian bridge. And the San Diego High School Drumline will provide the requisite drum roll for the unsealing.

The event will include an open forum, with time capsule expert Nicholas Yablon, and an anti-time capsule campfire. Attendees are invited to make a contribution to the anti-time capsule in the form of a note describing an object or experience they believe shouldn’t exist for future generations, such as shock collars, rabies shots, and alternative facts.

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