How to build something that lasts 10,000 years



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How to build something that lasts 10,000 years - BBC

Alexander Rose and a team of engineers at The Long Now Foundation are building a clock in the Texan desert that will last for 10,000 years. He explains what he's learnt about designing for extreme longevity.

When I visited Japan recently, I witnessed the 66th cycle of a ritual that began more than 13 centuries ago. I watched as Crown Princess Masako led a procession of Shinto priests carrying treasures from the old temple to the new. In Ise, they have been rebuilding the grand Jingu shrine with wood and thatch every 20 years since at least the 7th Century. As part of Shinto ritual, this not only keeps the structures intact even when made out of relatively ephemeral materials, but it allows the master temple builder to train the next generation.

Japan is also home to most of the oldest companies in the world, and has a singular affection for maintenance that allows it to sustain structures and rituals for millennia. But many other cultures have created long lasting artefacts and buildings, and each one can teach us something.