What's our version of the pyramids?

Whaddya mean, ‘our version’? Well, in that there’s a lot of discussion even thousands of years later on both how they were constructed and their purpose, to the extent of a 50 Jesus Christ are you kidding me page thread recently on the topic.

Stonehenge and the Nazca Lines also get a fair bit of this Chariots of the Gods inspired bollocks, on the hows and whys.

So in 4000 A.D. what are our descendants likely to be saying “How did those primitive boobs build that?! They didn’t even have teleportation or matter replication back then!” and/or “Just what in the hell did they use that for?” about?

Personally my speculation is that some future archaeologists dig up the Large Hadron Collider will wonder just what we were playing at.

well, there’s always actual Pyramids. The print edition of roadside America (but not the online version, for some reason) claims that Pyramids built in America trend to be Bad Luck – they tend to get abandoned or go broke (like the big one in Memphis Tennessee) or blown up (like Mary Baker Eddy’s memorial in New Hampshire). There are a lot of them, and they tend to last a long time, memorializing the failure. One can only hope Luxor, in Las Vegas, stays going for quite a while.

How about this: http://www.lm.doe.gov/land/sites/mo/weldon/weldon.htm. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weldon_Spring_Ordnance_Works

It’s a large artificial mound of stone not far from the Missouri river. Full of low-level nuclear debris.

I think in the spirit of the Pyramids, Mount Rushmore, or even more likely, the Crazy Horse monument (if it is ever completed) may still be around in two millenia and might spark interest and speculation among our decendents (if we can arrange a major war that destroys all our records, it would help push it along…).

Not sure anything basically metal (like the Eiffel Tower or Status of Liberty) will still be standing in 2,000 years. Rock tends to last, albeit wind and water always win in the end.


Even with a major world catastrophe, the big picture sum-of-human-knowledge is likely to survive in some form (most likely digital in some underground repository somewhere, at the very least), so I don’t think it’s likely that even long-term descendants of ours won’t have some idea of why we built what we built.

This, naturally.

On a serious note, I submit Cahokia as the closest thing North America has to the pyramids. A vast array of man-made mounds (some of which are ten stories tall and several hundred yards wide) built ca. 1200 CE. Some of the mounds were used as bases for temples, some were used as fortresses… and some were used as tombs. They were built by hand—obviously—using clay and soil hauled in hand-carried woven baskets.

Now if you’re talking about something much more recent—say, built in the last 100 years—then I have no idea. The industrial revolution gave us the ability to build some pretty awesome things (the Hoover dam and the Chunnel come immediately to mind) but I can’t think of anything that we have built in the past century that will still be standing 4000 years from now if left to their own devices. The aforementioned Mt. Rushmore might fit the bill, but in the grand scheme of things it wasn’t that difficult to create.

The Hollywood sign, of course.

Jayne Mansfield, Raquel Welch, Christina Hendricks, among others.

The Apollo Program is, in a way, a bid for (cultural) Immortality, much as the Pyramids were, for spiritual immortality.

Architectural monstrosities built solely to aggrandize leaders of questionable merit? Pyramids=presidential libraries.

I was going to nominate the moon landings. We’ve already got people who are incredulous that we pulled that off with the technology we had at the time.

Some pretty large excavation sites (such as ones you go down to to throw shit into) should be around for a very long time scale.

Mount Rushmore
27th Century Professor: As we can see students, inhabitants of the Xanadu continent worshiped four gods.

Student A: One of their gods had a mustache?

Professor: Well, mustaches were often considered a sign of masculinity. And recall as I mentioned last week, gold chains that have been unearthed were also considered such a sign. No doubt if this massive carving had been finished we would have seen bare hairy chest with gold chains.

Student A nods understandingly…

Student B: Professor I have a question.

Professor: Yes?

Student B: Well, Dr Jones has recently shown that these near savages actually had to wear devices to optically correct poor vision.

Professor: And?

Student B: Why would a god be wearing glasses…

When Government is no longer needed and Washington D.C. has returned to the stagnant swamp stage, all those buildings will be head-scratchers.

The Apollo program. The fact that we were landing in the moon before cell phones and pcs is impressive. Plus we did it due to a pissing competition with the Russians, and history books may not mention that fact.

The remains of the Apollo missions on the moon may remain 4500 years from now, so they would qualify. I’m not sure Mr. Rushmore will be recognizable 4500 years from now without persistent maintenance. Most of our large monuments and engineering feats aren’t designed to last that long, especially if abandoned.

Good suggestion. But …

The OP is effectively assuming a society collapse so future archeologists have to guess at what we were building & why. They can’t just consult the archival records that have been well-maintained down the years.

About 3/4ths of the Cahokia mounds that existed in 1800 were destroyed by the incoming settlers in the late 1800s and early 1900s for use as building material. What remains today is but a pale and short shadow of what just recently was there.

If we do want those future archeologists to see our stuff we’d better make sure it’s not useful for unknowing folks along the way to destroy them.

My guess, here in Canada, would be the excavations through bedrock for roads and railways.

Their function will be obvious, but the sheer effort that went into making them will be impressive in the extreme - and they are likely to last at least as long as the pyramids, if not considerably longer: they are solid cuts through bedrock, so they will not weather quickly.

The one thing that we’ve got, which will be partially visible and traceable on a grand scale for a long, long time, is the Interstate Highway System. Makes the old Roman roads seem, somewhat less.