People always seem to be digging up stuff from below the ground - artifacts, buildings and entire cities. Often they are below a current city.

My question is - where do the layers covering the stuff keep coming from? Once upon a time the city was at the ground level and people were walling the streets, and now it is buried underground. Did the ground sink slowly? How did the old stuff get covered by new stuff? Where did the new stuff come from, considering it would take a lot of material to cover an entire city!

How come these ruins are never seem to be at the top? Has anyone done a study of this?

closed as off-topic by Alex, LаngLаngС, Steve Bird, Lars Bosteen, sempaiscuba Mar 19 '18 at 2:05

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  • 1
    Ancient cities are usually located in flood plains that silt up. In other places, archaeological "layers" a really not seperated by much, or are confused. – John Dee Mar 18 '18 at 16:22
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  • Some ruins actually stay at ground level. See for instance the Colosseum in Rome, or some Roman aqueducts. For the rest, apart the flood plains point put forward by John, and exceptional scenarios like Pompeii, dust and vegetation (and trash) do their thing, little by little. See recent photos of Chernobyl to get a sense of how fast it can go. – Denis de Bernardy Mar 18 '18 at 16:27
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    For the same reason you have to vacuum or sweep out your living area every now and then. Archeology is what happens when nobody does that for a really long time. – T.E.D. Mar 18 '18 at 16:49
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    This happens even in modern times – Gort the Robot Mar 18 '18 at 19:48

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