I would suspect that the biggest danger facing such a time capsule is that it is broken into during some time of societal collapse - a sealed strong room is going to look very tempting. For that reason I would suspect that comparable projects in remote locations stand a much better chance of long-term survival:
Agriculture isn’t that old and there just wan’t any need for permanent buildings before agriculture arrived.
It doesn’t seem completely out of the question for the Pyramids to survive another 2,000 years to reach 6,000 years. (Ok, that might be a bad point to make, given that there is nothing inside the pyramids anymore.)
Agriculture is way older than any surviving building, back to about 9000BC:
There are archaeological sites where large amounts of construction had been carried out that are much older than 3500BC e.g. Çatalhöyük in Turkey:
And, of course, Jericho:
A backup metal film system resides in the crypt as well.
"The New Georgia Encyclopedia — Crypt of Civilization". Retrieved 2008-06-29.
"History of the Crypt of Civilization". Retrieved 2008-06-29.
> We depend upon the laws of the county of DeKalb, the State of Georgia, and the government of the United States and their heirs, assigns, and successors, and upon the sense of sportsmanship of posterity for the continued preservation of this vault until the year 8113, at which time we direct that it shall be opened by authorities representing the above governmental agencies and the administration of Oglethorpe University. Until that time we beg of all persons that this door and the contents of the crypt within may remain inviolate.
represents a very unrealistic expectation.
You pass by the steal doors of the Crypt on the way to the Book Store. It was my observation that students didn't really care about the Crypt itself, but that in order to build it they had to gut the indoor pool.
70+ years later they still don't have a pool nor offer any Computer Science / Computer Engineering classes.
I wonder whether bacteria or viruses could survive that long in those conditions?
This is actually a weird coincidence to see this on HN tonight, since I watched "The Cave of Forgotten Dreams" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cave_of_Forgotten_Dreams ) this evening. Having two hours to spend in Paris before a rendezvous, and seeing the great critics, I thought "Hey, I'm not usually into art / paintings / museums, but let's give this a try...".
The documentary was fascinating. The paintings look so fresh, it's as if they were done yesterday... But they are 30k - 35k years old. This really puts things into perspective...
It's hard to explain, but the effect was kind of similar to watching a Sagan video ( http://saganseries.com/ ). Instead of marveling at the size of the universe when compared to our tiny planet, I was marveling at how short the recorded history is when compared to the thousand of years of prehistory. I knew about this theoretically, but it never really hit home before...