achup hoa

Things of Trash Pits
February 2, 2010, 2:15 am
Filed under: History, Thoughts & Musings

Last week I met with archaeology of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historical Preservation. I went into one of their room, and saw it all. The table in front of me has a collection of plastic bags. The back right hand corner was filled with shelves of plastic bags. The floor nearby was filled with plastic bags. These plastic bags were filled with, so far, over 15,000 recorded artifacts that were excavated from a trash pit. The pit has been dated to the early 20th century, and is on a downtown site in Santa Barbara where in the early 1900s, the beginnings of a thriving Japanese-American community, Nihonmachi, once existed.

But the image of all of those plastic bags stuck with me. It was a small sample of all of the things we accumulate in our lives. Think of the things we use that become waste — the bone from that drumstick you had for lunch, the glass bottle from that barbecue sauce you finished last week, the old shoe that you couldn’t fix and ended up throwing away, the broken toy that you didn’t care about anymore. Some of these things decompose over time and become the present remains that resurface. So go figure, you can never really throw something away.