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Q:

How come archaeological ruins are always underground?

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Think about it. Why isn't everything right on the surface? Where does this dirt come from that keeps burying the past? Is the Earth getting thicker and thicker, like the trunk of a tree? Doesn't make sense to me. — Nig Lipscomb, Chicago Cecil replies: Actually, Nig--and listen, you really should do something about that nickname--I like to think the earth is getting slightly less thick each year, owing to my selfless educational ministry. Physically, on the other hand, the earth is getting a bit thicker, since it picks up 10,000 tons of meteorite dust a year. But that's not why ruins are buried. Archaeologists have to dig for lots of little reasons and one big reason. Sometimes the stuff they're looking for was buried to start with, as in the case of graves and rubbish pits. Sites that are abandoned for a long time become overgrown with vegetation that gradually decays and builds up a layer of topsoil. Places located in valleys may get covered by erosion from nearby hillsides. ... more
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