What would a 500-year-old abandoned city on the coast look like?

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In summary, the novel's setting is a long abandoned city on the coast of the ocean, with parts of it deep within a huge cavern opening. It has been 500 years since humans have set foot in the city and the author would like accurate scientific information about how it would appear. The city would likely have moss and algae growth due to its location near the ocean, but the amount would depend on the humidity of the climate. Wooden structures would have decayed, leaving mostly stone remaining. Trees could potentially grow through buildings or structures in areas exposed to sunlight. Human remains would most likely be reduced to dust in a humid climate. Other civilizations, such as the Mayans and Aztecs, could serve as inspiration for the city's appearance
  • #1
Liam A
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i'm doing research for a novel i am writing and would like some accurate scientific answers.

in the novel i have most of the setting places in a long abandoned city set on the coast of the ocean. the city sits within the mouth of a huge cavern opening, with some of the city deep within the cave. the time is set for over 500 years after the city had been abandoned and this is the first time humans have set foot in it since that time.
i'd like to know what the city would look like from scientific facts. for example: i understand moss and algae would grow all over the place due to the city's location near the ocean. i also understand wood would be decayed and anything other than stone would be virtually gone. however, i do not how much moss and algae would grow, or if other plants(since a forest is nearby) would grow as well. with a few parts exposed to sunlight, would trees grow through buildings or structures? also, what would the human remains look like. would there be skeletons left since the area is so exposed to the elements, or would it mostly be dust? also, is there anything i don't know about and haven't mentioned that might happen in these circumstances?

any information is much appreciated.
 
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  • #3
If you declare that a slow growing species of moss had taken hold and blocked the other types from growing you can control how much the visitors can see of it. Give other species some toeholds and you can disguise features until The Big Reveal.

Remember, it doesn't have to be rational, just reasonable.
 
  • #4
Liam A said:
in the novel i have most of the setting places in a long abandoned city set on the coast of the ocean. the city sits within the mouth of a huge cavern opening, with some of the city deep within the cave. the time is set for over 500 years after the city had been abandoned and this is the first time humans have set foot in it since that time.
i'd like to know what the city would look like from scientific facts. for example: i understand moss and algae would grow all over the place due to the city's location near the ocean.
Only if the climate is actually humid. Plenty of ocean coasts have climate which is desert or Mediterranean.
Liam A said:
i also understand wood would be decayed and anything other than stone would be virtually gone.
In humid climate, yes.
Liam A said:
however, i do not how much moss and algae would grow, or if other plants(since a forest is nearby) would grow as well. with a few parts exposed to sunlight, would trees grow through buildings or structures?
Oh yes.
Liam A said:
also, what would the human remains look like. would there be skeletons left since the area is so exposed to the elements, or would it mostly be dust?
In humid climate, I think mostly dust.
 
  • #6
Sounds a lot like some of the lost jungle civilizations of the Americas. The Mayans and the Aztec both lived in the type of climate you described and both were destroyed about 500 years ago. There are many cities like what you described.
 

Related to What would a 500-year-old abandoned city on the coast look like?

1. What is the significance of a 500 year old abandoned city?

A 500 year old abandoned city is significant because it provides valuable insights into the past and the lives of the people who inhabited it. It can also serve as a window into the cultural, social, and economic practices of the time period.

2. How do scientists determine the age of a 500 year old abandoned city?

Scientists use various dating methods such as radiocarbon dating, dendrochronology, and stratigraphy to determine the age of a 500 year old abandoned city. These methods involve analyzing the materials and artifacts found in the city, as well as the geological and environmental context in which it is located.

3. What can we learn from studying a 500 year old abandoned city?

Studying a 500 year old abandoned city can provide insight into the cultural and social practices of the people who lived there, as well as their technological advancements and environmental impact. It can also help us understand the reasons for the city's abandonment and its impact on the surrounding area.

4. Are there any challenges in studying a 500 year old abandoned city?

Yes, there can be many challenges in studying a 500 year old abandoned city, such as limited access to the site, preservation issues due to natural elements and human interference, and difficulties in interpreting and analyzing the artifacts and structures found within the city.

5. How can the information gathered from a 500 year old abandoned city be applied in the present day?

The information gathered from studying a 500 year old abandoned city can be applied in various ways in the present day. It can help us understand our past and how it has shaped our current society. It can also provide lessons for sustainable development and conservation of cultural heritage. Additionally, the knowledge gained from studying the city can aid in the preservation and management of similar sites around the world.

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