The Guindo (theguindo) wrote in little_details,
The Guindo
theguindo
little_details

Archeological endurance of material culture

Time: Fictional
Place: Fictional
Searched: I don't even know how to start on this one.

This is going to be long. =|

I've got a fantasy world with a floating city. GREAT. Bad news: Said floating city had a genocide so long ago that nobody even remembers how long ago it was. Everyone was killed, city was effectively abandoned. City is still floating, nobody has been up there since the genocide, and it has remained undisturbed since then. (Decomposition of bodies left behind is not a factor in this equation btw, since the God of Death decided long ago that he didn't want to tolerate any of this necromancy BS and so sentient beings turn to ash upon death. Scavenging animals, therefore, also not really a factor.)

Elevation is like a mile or so? It's very dry (humidity-wise, it still gets rain or snow or other types of inclement weather), and probably pretty cold (though it does kind of drift so I'm sure it's been through some temperature extremes).

1920's New York would be a great comparison to what this city was actually like back when it was still, uh, occupied. Notable differences, but the majority of their buildings were made of steel and built tall and their tech was roughly equivalent.

So that setup is great, but what's the point? Well, bad news for me, my group ends up GOING THERE at one point, and I need to decide how well the city itself has endured. The time this city has been unoccupied is never explicitly or even implicitly stated, everyone just knows it's A REALLY LONG TIME. It's gotta be at LEAST 5,000 years though (since that's the max lifespan of my longest lived race and there's nobody left alive who remembers this happening).

I need to know what kind of state the buildings would be in, what sorts of things would have survived this long, what kind of things would LOOK like they'd survived but would crumble when you touched them. Textiles, wooden shelves, the metal framework of the buildings themselves, books, bedframes, mattresses, photographs, etc. I guess this is essentially equivalent to asking, if our society had died out in the 1920s, what would archeologists be able to actually find like 10,000 years down the road?

And since I have another city in roughly the same situation minus the genocide and the floating and stuck in the middle of a blazing desert instead ( =|!! ), how would these answers change if the city were actually buried/sandworn/both instead of permanently exposed to the elements? This one is actually being excavated so the archeological standpoint would be great =|b [Edit] Quick note for clarity: buildings here are much shorter but still steel and concrete. [/Edit]

(WHY DID I WRITE MYSELF SUCH A COMPLICATED WORLD HISTORY AND THEN MAKE IT DIRECTLY RELEVANT TO MY MAIN CHARACTERS. >=| I HATE MYSELF.)

[Edit2] Aright, some changes and clarifications. I think I'm gonna lower my longest-lived race's lifespan to 2,000 years and say that all this genocide bidniz happened somewhere around 6,000 years ago. So there's a solid timeline for the decay, for whatever difference it'd actually make.
Tags: ~archaeology
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