The History of the World in 100 Objects

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A solar-powered lamp is seen inside a provisional camp for earthquake victims in Port-au-Prince September 30, 2010. Eight months after the magnitude 7 quake that shattered large parts of Port-au-Prince, killing up to 300,000 people, more than 1 million people left homeless by one of the world's worst disasters are still living in the camps and critics say reconstruction efforts have barely gotten underway. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz (HAITI - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT ENERGY)

The venerable BBC has been mapping the world’s history through objects. But what will represent 2010?

A solar-powered lamp and charger has become the last piece of this particular puzzle.  There has been a fair bit of buzz surrounding what the object would be, with other ideas ranging from the plastic bag, television, contraceptive pill and iPad. (See a recent TIME cover story on the pill.)

Justifying the reason behind the choice, the BBC reports that, “The lamp was chosen for what it says about life in 2010 and because of its ability to bring electricity to those who have never had it before.”

The radio program was over the course of — yes! — 100 episodes, all explaining the history of humanity from a collection now housed in the British Museum. The oldest object was a two-million-year-old chopping tool made out of stone, which was found in Tanzania. (See pictures of the history of the British Museum.)