A friend was telling me about this, but couldn't remember the title or author:
- Long novel with female space scavenger/archaeologist as the main character. She finds stuff and sells it to collectors.
- Takes place in the far future (maybe 25,000 years from now?)
- She is following evidence related to a very early (the first?) warp drive spacecraft from Earth.
- She is able to travel around space very widely.
- This ancient craft was carrying a religious sect that was leaving Earth to find a new home
- She finds the descendants of this sect on another world, but the religion itself no longer exists. They have their own mythology and have forgotten that they ever came from Earth.
- Much of human history has been lost; items like a plastic cup with a cigarette brand (or something like that) are a matter for academic conjecture. Along the lines of, "what does Marlboro mean?"
- My friend thought the book was perhaps published around 2005; he read it around 2010.