Recognize these photos? If you’ve seen Star Wars, you probably do.
This the abandoned set of Tatooine, Luke Skywalker’s home planet. A photographer accidentally stumbled upon the set, which sits in the Tunisian desert. They sit in perfect stillness, at the crest of the Sahara Desert, eaten away by dust and sand.
This made me think. What if, in thousands, or hundred of years, humans dug this up, in an archaeological dig of some sort and thought that this is how we lived. See, they’d be getting a whole false set of information about our life times.
Even more so than that, which if, certain things that we’ve dug up in archaeological digs are merely just theatre/play sets, and we think that they were made for a particular reason.
I don’t know, kind of just made me realise how weird that would be.
I wrote an entire essay in college for my World Religions class on how, with the proliferation of fast food restaurants in America, it would be so strange for future archaeologists to dig them up and try to determine what they were about. They’d probably think they were places of important religious worship, since they are absolutely EVERYWHERE, and they’d probably find the fossilized remains of chicken bones and think that we practiced pagan worship.
It’s always interesting to think how future generations might view us, and in turn, how the way we view past societies may be totally skewed. Maybe we assign more importance to daily things than they were ever meant to have. “This statue must have been a totem of great importance to this ancient tribe.” Or maybe it was just a cheap trinket used for decoration. Who knows?
One of the greatest examples I’ve ever experienced of this was in the book “The Fifth Life of the Catwoman.” In it, a teacher has all her students write an essay on what happened on the first day of school. She then builds a fire in the field outside the school and has the students draw slips of paper out of a hat to determine what they do with their essays. All but one get a slip telling them to throw their essay in the fire, for various reasons.
"Your essay was stored in an attic for 100 years until a new caretaker threw all the old junk out. Throw it in the fire."
"Your essay was destroyed in an earthquake that leveled a city. Throw it in the fire."
"Your essay was burned when the building it was stored in was bombed during a war. Throw it in the fire."
The one student who receives a slip stating “Your essay was preserved in a museum as a historic relic. Read it to the class. This is what our account of our first day of school will look like to future generations” was a student who was sick the first day of school and stayed home making tamales with her grandmother.
The students were furious, as she wasn’t even there so how could her account possibly be considered an accurate representation of their first day of school? Well, the teacher said, that’s how history works.
Ever since I read that, I have viewed every historical account I read with a whole new perspective.