There is no one ascertained history or permanent memory. The culture repeats itself, but its meaning does not change at the same time. “Doing history” means being aware of certain methodological “rules of the road,” including the necessity of remembering that we are necessarily limited in our understanding of the past simply by virtue of our being of the present. The essential relevance of history is that the world in which we live is the direct legacy of the people and events of the past; how we understand and relate to that past helps inform our understanding of the present. “how do we know what we know?”
It doesn't matter what form to refer to when you refer to the past, the roots as a subject, because the preceding is evinced everywhere and right now. Through objects, through layers of history, through text. We define the text, it defines us. What can a rolled up hose tell us? We do not know yet, but probably something very important.