In 2017, for instance, preservationists unearthed a time capsule that dated all the way back to 1777. In this case, the capsule itself, found in Burgos, Spain, was a hollowed-out wooden Jesus Christ statue. The figurine had actually concealed two letters penned by a Burgo de Osma Cathedral chaplain called Joaquín Mínguez. The documents included descriptions of historical details relevant to the chaplain’s time.
So time capsules may sound like a great way to preserve the aspects of a certain time for future societies to discover. Yet at least one authority has put forward a contrary argument. William E. Jarvis, a historian specializing in time capsules, has indeed described the contents of purposefully created containers as mostly “useless junk.” His argument, expounded in his book, Time Capsules: A Cultural History, is that these capsules don’t actually carry much information about the people who buried them.
Jarvis reportedly believes, then, that illustrative capsule items that inform discoverers about everyday life in the past would hold a lot more historical value. He also had an issue with many time capsules suggesting a specific date upon which future discoverers are recommended to open them up.