Science fiction is all about the future… except when it isn’t. Sometimes, science fiction deals with what we may call the deep past, either our own or that of some alien species whose culture grew, thrived, and eventually faded (or blew itself up) long before humans even started pointing telescopes at the stars.
I find myself in agreement with one of the characters in How Much for Just the Planet? (a Star Trek novel that doesn’t actually have anything to do with archaeology): I really like the idea of an ancient civilization, because it makes a planet feel so lived-in. 🙂
You can find Paul’s blog post here.