The Fascinating World of Time Capsules


Memory of Mankind

Memory of Mankind (MOM) is a preservation project funded in 2012 by Martin Kunze. The main goal is to preserve the knowledge about our present civilization from oblivion and collective amnesia. Information is printed on ceramic tablets, then stored in the salt mine of Hallstatt, Austria.

More than a simple archive project, it aims to create the “Time capsule of our era”,[1] letting people participate by allowing them to submit texts and images. In contrast to national archives, content for MOM is collected by anyone who takes part. It is a collective, “bottom-up” told history. The Hallstatt salt mine is the oldest salt mine continuously exploited by humans. Several factors contribute to its suitability for the MOM archives. As well as the depth and relative stability of the mine, the salt absorbs moisture and desiccates the air, and has a natural plasticity that helps to seal cracks and fractures keeping the caverns watertight.