Locked in Time for 6,000 Years

by T-Knox

The interior of the Crypt of Civilization before it was sealed in 1940. Thornwell Jacobs also left a note which said, "The world is engaged in burying our civilization forever, and here in this crypt we leave it to you."

We all want to be remembered in one way or another but Thornwell Jacobs took the bull by the horns and decided he wanted his time and the time period he lived in and enjoyed to be remembered in a big way. Jacobs was previously the President of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia and was bewildered by how little information was documented from past civilizations. To make a change for historians in a future life, Jacobs took on the feat of making a time capsule that will go down in history. Called the Crypt of Civilization, it will be opened in 6000 years, on May 28, 8113 A.D.

The crypt was required to have all technology, books and other items, that best reflected the time period, in the vault for future generations to discover what our existence was like 6,000 years earlier in comparison to the world of the 9th millennium. There was a large selection of books put into the vault, including 200 fiction books, intricate drawings of all inventions from modes of transportation to communication methods, records of sporting events and achievements, videos of historical landmarks, leaders and revolutionary thinkers of the time, documents describing the greatest cities and newsreels to showcase what was making headlines in 1940. Some other items that were included to symbolize the time were two smoking pipes, a bottle of Vaseline, a lady’s breast form, a glass bookend, and even a toy airplane.

The crypt is located at the university under Phoebe Hearst Hall, a room 20 feet long and 10 feet tall and wide. The crypt rests on bedrock with two feet of stone piled on top of it. It is sealed with a stainless steel door that is welded in place. May 28th, 1940 was when the vault saw its last rays of sunshine then it was closed for good or at least for 6,000 years.

Many people have made personal time capsules to remember a point and time in their lives to open at a later date or for their families and others to discover after their time. The Crypt of Civilization commemorates a time period and way of life that will be long gone when it is opened. Future generations will be fortunate to get to know the people of a previous time and see how they lived and what mattered most to them.

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