THE SRE TIME CAPSULE PROJECT.
Most people are familiar with a time capsule; a sealed container buried or stashed in a quiet place with the intention of being 'found' during the life time of the capsule's owner to examine the contents for comparing with the more modern times of that future date. Some time capsules are hidden/buried with the intention of recovery by a future relative, details of the location being left to help locate the capsule.
Others are simply left hidden or buried with the intention of being found randomnly at some distant date in the future, far beyond the life span of the person concealing the time capsule.
Time capsules are essentially containers holding artefacts selected by an enthusiast which at some future date will be inspected either by the capsule owner or another person. They are interesting things which bring back memories, store records of particular past circumstances, are historical for any future time and the motivation behind their creation is of particular interest to some psychologists.
THE SRE PROJECT.
SRE is offering a time capsule burial service linked to its Bluebell Project. It will bury in a secluded location a time capsule containing artefacts supplied by a purchaser. The location will be known only to SRE, the purchaser and a record of it will be kept by the International Time Capsule Society based in Atlanta, Georgia. There is a UK section of this organisation based in the British Museum.
The ITCS records the burial locations of time capsules globally be they hidden by individuals or organisations. Many public buildings have time capsules buried in their cornerstones or foundations with the intention of retrieval at various future dates ranging from just a decade to 3000 years.
What will our world be like 3000 years from now? What will people make of the artefacts of the 20th & 21st century?
The ITCS suggests that 75% of all time capsules have been 'lost' or forgotten about and the idea of its register is to ensure losses are reduced to a minimum.
The SRE project sees time capsules hidden in North East Wales, where above them, a batch of 25 bluebell bulbs is planted and the whole capsule packing/burial/planting exercise is filmed. The idea of the bluebells is to create a satellite colony which in due course spreads outwards itself. The short film is uploaded onto Youtube where SRE has an account. The purchaser is given a link and only he/she and anyone with whom they share the link can view the footage.
SRE has used tree saplings before rather than bluebells but due to persons enquiring after species SRE just does not have in stock or which are non-native, only bluebell bulbs are now offered.
The purchaser sends a parcel of artefacts to SRE, which are placed within the time capsule. The purchaser will specify when the time capsule should be searched for in the future and recovered.
VIEW A TIME CAPSULE CREATION AND BURIAL.
Click this link to see a video clip of a SRE time capsule project.
HOW IS A TIME CAPSULE CREATED?
The first time capsules were probably ancient people like the Egyptians who buried their artefacts alongside their dead owners. Of course there was no intention of doing this for future archaeologists. The artefacts were meant for the dead person in his or her afterlife.
Science has shown now, the best methods for storing modern day materials so they stand the test of time. Most items will survive for several thousand years if kept in the dark and in dry conditions. Recycling enthusiasts will tell you that plastic bags can take a thousand years to break down in landfill. Plastic bottles become brittle quite quickly in sunlight, but buried can last 3000 years. Glass is fragile, but can take even longer to degrade in the ground.
Hardly a week goes by without a metal detecting enthusiast unearthing a hoard in the UK, ranging from a few coins to clay pots holding thousands of Roman or pre-Roman Celtic coins or Saxon/Viking jewelry. Clay pots and metal coins have survived over 2000 years in the wet climate of Britain.
Armed with this knowledge and with access to modern materials, SRE can store artefacts in a combination of recycled glass and plastic jars and bottles, sealed with waterproof substances such as silicon, and packed within high tensile plastic containers, again sealed. Such time capsules will last 3000 years if they have to. All that is required is the purchaser to decide what will go into the time capsule for discovery at some future date.
WHAT SHOULD BE PUT IN A TIME CAPSULE?
What goes into a time capsule is dictated by the thoughts of a purchaser and the size of the time capsule.
SRE uses recycled plastic bottles and containers with plastic lids which when buried, have a life span of around 1000 years if not exposed to sunlight. However, to increase the longevity of the contents and to protect them further, plastic bottles are sealed within larger plastic containers. All the lids are treated with a bonding agent which 'welds' the lids to the bottles and larger containers creating a totally sealed environment. Silica gel sachets are placed within all containers to soak up any traces of moisture.
There are 'givens' which go into time capsules.
Enthusiasts should write a letter to self if recovering in the future or to the finder. It should be written in pencil and SRE suggests a couple of photocopies of that letter are included too.
A letter should include some details of who you are, your family members, where you live, who your friends and relatives are. A basic family tree.
Include photographs but colour images can fade and it is suggested black & white pictures last longer, but colour will do at a pinch.
Include coins or odd examples of paper money, items of low value but perhaps sentimental, even older coins and foreign currency.
Pet items like a dog lead or ID tag.
A newspaper of the day, especially one with a jobs page.
An Ordnance Survey map or street map of your locale, even a calendar of that year.
Plastic, wooden or glass items.
Small wooden, plastic or metal toys.
Every day objects like cutlery or other implements, old keys.
CDs/DVDs. There is no guarantee the info' thereon will be recoverable but no harm will come of including such.
An old mobile phone, but keep battery separate and include a charger. Footage and images stored on a phone will most likely be retrievable so long as future society hasn't collapsed back into some technology free era.
A calculator- solar powered.
It is expected that future generations will be able to retrieve information stored on a USB memory stick, so a huge amount of images, documents and video can be stored on such a device.
A small book on any subject.
Bus tickets, expired credit/debit card, an envelope(s) with franked stamps, shopping receipt.
A wrist watch - a wind up example and or a battery operated example. Remember to keep battery separate.
Even personal hygiene items such as hair comb, lock of hair, toothbrush, cotton buds, disposable razor, sanitary towel or tampon, lipstick, mascara bottle, cotton buds etc - virtually any modern day object which will not perish which shows how society today lives.
It is possible to bury and recover in a future well preserved state most items, but avoid food stuffs. There is no limit as to what you can put in a time capsule. The only constraint is size. SRE will provide bottles and containers that will accommodate a minimum volume of 12 inches (30 cm) x 12 inches and a maximum volume of 24 inches (60 cm) x 24 inches.
Whatever containers SRE uses, they will be buried a minimum of 18 inches deep.
Now you have clues to what you can and should put in your time capsule, how do you obtain one?
PURCHASING A SRE TIME CAPSULE.
To partake of this service, simply email
Alternative email address
and you'll be emailed back full details of what to do next. Please allow up to 72 hours for this especially at weekends and bank holidays.
You will be asked to gather a collection of artefacts to go into your time capsule. These will be forwarded to SRE alongwith payment via a recorded delivery service of the Royal Mail.
SRE will email you confirming receipt. You will be given a burial date and SRE will on that date, film the filling of your time capsule, its burial and bulb planting.
BECAUSE BULBS ARE PLANTED FROM OCTOBER TO FEBRUARY, SRE ONLY OPERATES THIS TIME CAPSULE BURIAL SERVICE DURING THOSE AUTUMN/WINTER/early SPRING MONTHS.
THE BULBS IN FLOWER THE FOLLOWING SEASON WILL BE PHOTOGRAPHED AND THOSE IMAGES EMAILED TO THE PURCHASER. BLUEBELLS FLOWER IN MID APRIL TO MID MAY.
Full details of the burial will then be sent to you so you know exactly where in North East Wales your time capsule is located. The same details will be given to the International Time Capsule Society.
At the same time, you will receive details of the uploaded video to view on Youtube.
The maximum time scale between supplying artefacts and receiving details of the time capsule location and the video upload is 30 days.
AND THE COST?
The cost is £25, payable by cheque or Postal Order. You can purchase this service on Ebay too. Details below.
For your fee you get the following:
A SRE time capsule,
A burial location,
The burial service,
25 bluebell bulbs planted in the soil above your time capsule.
Purchasers also receive a batch of 25 bluebell bulbs in the post for planting at home or elsewhere,
An uploaded Youtube video and link to it,
Registration of your time capsule with the ITCS.
Smaller plastic bottles contain documents and other non-durable items as well as items which react to moisture or acids or alkalis in the surrounding soil.
Lids on these are welded and then these are placed within larger plastic containers/jars to double the protection and longevity of the containers.
Silica Gel Sachets are placed within every container.
A 4.4 litre plastic jar within which goes smaller plastic bottles to double the lifespan of the plastic.
Bluebell bulbs ready for planting.
Bluebell scene. What SRE is trying to promote.
The whole process of filling the containers, sealing and burial plus, tree planting is filmed and uploaded onto Youtube.
The link to this is supplied along with the location details of the time capsule burial spot.
You can purchase this product through this website via cheque or postal order or through Ebay.
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