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(Telegraph)   Walrus remains found buried under St. Pancras Train Station in London. Fark? It was a Pacific Walrus   (telegraph.co.uk) divider line 13
    More: Weird, walrus, police stations, blue whales, giant tortoises, porpoises, Zoological Society, Prince Albert, Eurostar  
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2949 clicks; posted to Geek » on 25 Jul 2013 at 1:46 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-07-26 11:46:01 AM  
2 votes:

markie_farkie: Why is all that shiat always found so far underground?  Was the Earth much smaller back then, and has just filled up with dust over the millenia?

When I lived in Vienna, they were digging a new subway station 90 feet underground in the middle of the city, and found an entire church, buried there.  Certainly the city's ground level hasn't risen 90+ feet over the last 1500 years..

WTF?


Here's an actor playing Charles Darwin to answer your questions.

The first thing to observe is that yes, dust does get in everywhere, driven by the wind and the slightest puff of air, so over time, it piles up. However, the main reasons why things get buried are somewhat different.

To begin with, there was no garbage pick-up in ancient cities. More modern cities had dust-men and night-soil men and other people who carried away people's waste for a fee. Only the well-to-do or rich could afford somebody to clean out the latrines though, so most people still dumped their garbage whereever they could Basements were filled with clutter, empty buildings were stuffed with the stuff, and whenever a lot became vacant or a basement was exposed by a fire, it became an impromptu and possibly illegal dump.

In the Middle East where rain is intermittent and scanty, cities can be spotted from a distance as mounds which are called "tels". Cities are indeed built on top of cities, and in places like London, the web of underground tunnels, rooms, abandoned underground lines, pipes, sewers, etc. is amazing. You can find everything from military command centers to ancient foundations, and yes, even walruses.

But there's a reason this actor is playing Charles Darwin and not an archaeologist. It is because there is another factor which buries things. Earthworms. Well, earthworms, moles, rats, badgers, rabbits, and many other digging animals. These turn the soil to a certain depth particular to each species and to the local conditions, and over time they mine anything laying around on the surface, from coins to buildings. Things sink because the earth is constantly being evacuated from under them.

Charles Darwin discovered this phenomenon while studying earthworms (which he could do on the lawn of his large and comfortable house in the country). Things left laying around gradually sink to a level below which earthworms, ants, weasels and other critters do not go. You often find artifacts (and fossils) jumbled together at this depth, willy-nilly. Remember that if you are a dumb creationist or have to argue with one. They may point out cases where the bones of Jesus are found riding the bones of dinosaurs. This is a possible, indeed probable reason for that.

On the other hand, there are several other reasons. The soil not only builds up, it also tamps down. Over time earthquakes shake the land and things as big as buildings can sink into relatively lose soil which can't bear their weight. A church at a depth of 90 feet has probably been sunk by a combination of factors. The soil level is higher because of dust and floods, the church has been mined by centuries of earthquakes and smaller disturbances down to the pounding of raindrops and ants, and the church may simply have been built on ground too soft to carry its weight for so long. It may simply have gently and slowly sunk into sand, silt or or dirt.

Also, churches may have intentionally been built with deep crypts, which might be the remains that still survive, seeing as anything above ground level is likely to be destroyed or stolen to be used as building materials. It is most foundations that survive because of this nasty habit of builders and homeowners. Buildings tend to disappear if you leave them lying around without guards and caretakers.

Modern buildings should avoid some of this because they are built on more solid foundations, and often the foundations are sunk into bed rock. But a medieval church was often built without much engineering knowledge by trial and error almost. Many of them have collapsed repeatedly in earthquakes or because they were simply not built right. Roofs are particularly prone to cave-ins, and the lead with which they are covered is still being stolen today, this very day, possibly right now, somewhere, because metal is valuable and easy to steal and re-use.

I hope you have found this interesting and entertaining and that you will kick a creationist in the shins on my birthday, February 12. I was born on the exact same day as Abraham Lincoln. I argued with the Captain of the Beagle over whether Brazilian slaves were happy to be slaves and Lincoln debated long and hard before freeing the often worse-off slaves in America (where manumission was rarer than in Brazil) but in the end we both did the right thing, I believe, even though wracked with doubts and fear that public opinion wasn't ready for radical new ideas.

Love, Chuck
2013-07-25 02:09:59 PM  
2 votes:

MaudlinMutantMollusk: Those bukkits don't find themselves you know


brap: Dear Bukketseeker. How we have missed miss you our good old panicked friend.


Except that is an elephant seal. A walrus looks like this:
i.imgur.com
2013-07-26 08:31:16 AM  
1 votes:

xria: Anthracite: markie_farkie: Why is all that shiat always found so far underground?  Was the Earth much smaller back then, and has just filled up with dust over the millenia?

When I lived in Vienna, they were digging a new subway station 90 feet underground in the middle of the city, and found an entire church, buried there.  Certainly the city's ground level hasn't risen 90+ feet over the last 1500 years..

WTF?

Citation?

Probably talking about  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vergilius_Chapel, where they found an underground crypt that had been abandoned after the church above it had burned down and been abandoned. So it wasn't 90 feet down (only about 12 meters, so about 40 feet), and it was always underground.




At least 90 feet down.
3.bp.blogspot.com

Pain in the ass to get down there.
2013-07-26 06:41:45 AM  
1 votes:

Anthracite: markie_farkie: Why is all that shiat always found so far underground?  Was the Earth much smaller back then, and has just filled up with dust over the millenia?

When I lived in Vienna, they were digging a new subway station 90 feet underground in the middle of the city, and found an entire church, buried there.  Certainly the city's ground level hasn't risen 90+ feet over the last 1500 years..

WTF?

Citation?


Probably talking about  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vergilius_Chapel, where they found an underground crypt that had been abandoned after the church above it had burned down and been abandoned. So it wasn't 90 feet down (only about 12 meters, so about 40 feet), and it was always underground.
2013-07-26 01:12:44 AM  
1 votes:
images1.wikia.nocookie.net
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things; of shoes, of ships, of sealing wax, of cabbages, and Kings!
And why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings,
Calloo! Callay!  No work today!
We're Cabbages and Kings!"
2013-07-25 05:43:21 PM  
1 votes:
Were there the remains of many oysters? What about a carpenter?
2013-07-25 03:52:56 PM  
1 votes:

Thelyphthoric: Wait, who the hell was St. Pancreas?


The patron saint of insulin production.
2013-07-25 03:48:07 PM  
1 votes:

Mr. Shabooboo: markie_farkie: Why is all that shiat always found so far underground?  Was the Earth much smaller back then, and has just filled up with dust over the millenia?

When I lived in Vienna, they were digging a new subway station 90 feet underground in the middle of the city, and found an entire church, buried there.  Certainly the city's ground level hasn't risen 90+ feet over the last 1500 years..

WTF?

 It's very possible. It's very common to build on the ruins of other structures, especially "sacred ground".
There are literally cities upon cities upon cities..Hundreds of feet deep of ruins and infrastructure
built upon over centuries. In some places, What looks like just a big hill, can be a city that was
built on a small hill thousands of years ago, then built up and over and over and over then abandon
to the point it just appears to be a big hill now.



Spanish Cathedrals built on top of razed Aztec temples, etc...
2013-07-25 03:41:42 PM  
1 votes:

markie_farkie: Why is all that shiat always found so far underground?  Was the Earth much smaller back then, and has just filled up with dust over the millenia?

When I lived in Vienna, they were digging a new subway station 90 feet underground in the middle of the city, and found an entire church, buried there.  Certainly the city's ground level hasn't risen 90+ feet over the last 1500 years..

WTF?


 It's very possible. It's very common to build on the ruins of other structures, especially "sacred ground".
There are literally cities upon cities upon cities..Hundreds of feet deep of ruins and infrastructure
built upon over centuries. In some places, What looks like just a big hill, can be a city that was
built on a small hill thousands of years ago, then built up and over and over and over then abandon
to the point it just appears to be a big hill now.
2013-07-25 03:04:08 PM  
1 votes:
www.chrisroberson.net
2013-07-25 01:58:29 PM  
1 votes:
goo goo goo joob goo goo goo goo joob
2013-07-25 01:11:21 PM  
1 votes:
Odd looking walrus, 'e was
cinefantastiqueonline.com
2013-07-25 12:37:45 PM  
1 votes:
The Eggman unavailable for comment.
 
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