On digital archaeology

The year is 4018. German is widely studied by scholars of classical antiquity, but all knowledge of the mysterious English language has died out.

Scene: A classics department faculty lounge; a few professors are relaxing. 

Prof 1 [rushes into the room]: Guys! Guys! You remember that cache of magnetic recordings they found in the ruins of old Silicon Valley?

Prof 2: What about it?

P1 [catching her breath]: Most of it was corrupt, but we finally decoded one. It’s a short moving picture.

P2: We already know about the mindless entertainments of the ancients.

P1: No, don’t you see – this one is in two languages. The audio track is in ancient German, but there are written words on top of the images – and I’m positive they’re in English.

P2: A discovery like this would be the biggest since … well, what are you waiting for, show us!

P1 presses a hidden button. A holographic screen appears in the middle of the room and a movie begins to play:


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