We have the pots, jewelry, and wall decorations of our ancient ancestors, and a few of their stories. We know nothing of the joys and sorrows of their family lives and care little for their political intrigues. Their faiths have disappeared or changed utterly; their science has been superceded. The things that mattered most to them have vanished. What remains is the superficial. It is how we know them. And when we too are dust, our descendants will have Rashid's curvy plastic trash cans.
Virginia Postrel, The Substance of Style (191)