eli5 Where does the sediment come from?

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When I read that “Ancient Ruins were uncovered,” I always wonder where the dirt that covered the ruins came from. Are there some areas that get continuously slowly covered and others lose their coverage in a shifting of sediment?
Is it so gradual that no one society notices that their landmarks are getting “shorter”? Or is it so fast that everyone notices but the significance is noteworthy until a future generation deems it so?

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3 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

Dust in the air.

We can even see this in the modern world. There’s a church in London where the walk way up to it is surrounded by retaining walls. The retaining walls were added later because originally, the ground level was level with the walk way, but over the last 700 years, layers of dust settled and became dirt.

Anonymous 0 Comments

I used to wonder the same thing. Then I went to Russia, and I saw exactly what you’re talking about. A lot of old churches there are just sitting getting older and being ignored. They’re not buried in serious sediment yet, but they are being completely left on their own for decades on end.

Anonymous 0 Comments

It’s for a lot of reasons. Most abandoned ruins are primarily buried from grass/plants that grew, died and decomposed into dirt.

In cities there was also waste and rubble along with the plant matter that was often just built on. This is most apparent in the roman empire where the top halves of ancient temples were made into churches during the late empire or after. Dust and flooding can also bury structures but this is more geographically dependent.