The afterlife of cities

When cities are deserted, their existences can be traced back by the types of earths in the ground for centuries. Geologists call the type of earth created by human settlement dark earth. Dark earth is rich in charcoal and botanic fibres, the left overs of human settlement. Often it is also a sign of the direct effects of urban decay, when former houses or temples are abandoned and then reused by rural communities as hen-coops or dumps.

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