Time Capsules as Intentional, Ideal Ruins

I’ve been watching the coverage of the time capsule unearthed in Boston this week with a lot of interest. It’s thought to have been buried outside the Massachusetts State House in 1795 by Governor Samuel Adams, Paul Revere, and William Scollay, and is believed to include “a collection of silver and copper coins dating from between 1652 and 1855; an engraved silver plate; newspapers; the seal of the Commonwealth; cards; and a title page from the Massachusetts Colony Records” (Allen 2014). The box, which is pretty small (as can be seen in the photo), was first unearthed during repairs to the State House in 1855 and subsequently reburied, with some alteration to its contents (the addition of coins and an acid wash used to clean the original artifacts).

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