I experienced another example in a fairly dense woodland area on the shores
of the Firth of Clyde. My son was showing us around and I asked him why
young ash trees were growing in rectangles. He kicked the deep leaf litter
aside to reveal the brick and concrete base of a long-gone hutment from WW
II, around which the ash had found a toehold. Further kicking around
revealed the remains of service boots and other artefacts from when it was
apparently used as a training base for the D-day invasion of France.
Within something like 55 years after the event the site was already
virtually invisible. It was also apparent that the cleaning up process had
been far from thorough.
----- Original Message -----
From: "davensal" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, October 28, 2007 8:26 AM
Subject: [BRITARCH] How does archaeology get buried?
Perhaps one of the best ways to understand this is to look around at
archaeology being created today. I am sure that todays processes are not
that dissimilar to those throughout history.
One example that immediately spring to mind are alterations and phasing to
current buildings and features, undoubtedly in the process we deliberately
bury traces of earlier phases either for convenience or to utilse them as
foundations for a new feature. Currently I am building a new patio, in one
area there will be two earlier paths buried, in layers, under the new patio.
For future archaeologists I am sure they will indicate other changes to the
main building during the past thirty years - sounds familiar to examining an
archaeological site today!
Another example of archaeology being created can be seen in areas of
dereliction where buildings, plant, roads etc are allowed to natural decay
and become covered by landslip and alluvial deposits from localised
flooding. Also annual deposits of naturally growing plant material create
layers of humus that allows other plants to grow. A classical example of
this happening over a wide area is in south west Spain in the area of the
now disused Rio Tinto opencast mines have been left to nature; railways,
buildings even locomotives are gradually being covered. A treasure trove for
These procedures then of course are followed by the worm action, wind blow
etc discussed previously in this discussion thread.