142

Medical Devices, Medical Evidence Some of the skeletons will show obvious signs of recovery from normally fatal illnesses, obvious signs of advanced surgery like titanium pins in healed broken bones, artificial hip joints, dental crowns and fillings, root canals etc etc. They will see that the majority of the skeletons are from individuals who lived to very ...


52

Put the temple in medium earth orbit This has many convenient effects for your goal of slaughtering an aspiring archaeologist: You don't have to have as many layers of traps, because only a few explores will have the means to reach your temple in the first place Traps that would be mildly inconvenient on earth are extremely deadly in space if you are ...


52

What does one normally find in a cemetery? Headstones. Headstones have designs and markings, and chances are, they're going to be at least partially preserved. Coffins. Coffins are less than 7000 years old; some wooden coffins have survived for that long somewhat intact. Modern coffins are often more durable than the early wooden constructs, and are going ...


47

I am not really malicious enough to spend my time designing booby traps. So instead I'll just present how a nice person such as myself would built a treasure vault for reference. It should be filled with chemically inert gas for protection. To avoid leaks the gas should be heavier than air and the vault built well below ground level in an are with very ...


45

The archeological evidence would be the presence of long lived fission products or activated material from neutrons of fusion bombs. Ice cores from Antarctica (if the ice is not melted for global warming) or sediments would not only contain traces of the mentioned substances, but indicate exceptionally high levels of ash in the air only to be found in ...


39

Start with the people then the city then the ruins Cities always arise from the culture and situation of the people who built it. Their priorities will be expressed in what buildings are where and what they look like. Modern skyscraper-filled cities emphasize maximal value per square foot. Hobbits for some reason really liked round doors to their homes. ...


39

If enough time goes by, there would fewer and fewer signs on the surface of the Earth for someone looking for past intelligent life. However, as soon as someone wants to build any infrastructure or industry on this planet, they'd notice the distribution of metal is very strange. All the easy-to-mine metal is gone! Even long after every mine on Earth caves-...


35

It Depends It depends on the technology level of your futuristic society. If they already know about radiation and can detect it, then some radioactive isotopes will still remain. If they do not have advanced technology, then they will have to rely on digging up layers of soot/ash from the nuclear winter, or discovering vitrified remains. Radioactive ...


31

The headstone is probably more than enough; we understand the Ancestors had some sort of conception of death and possibly an afterlife because neolithic and even Neanderthals were buried, often with flowers or rubbed with red ocher or other dyes. A typical modern human burial (at least in the West, as implied by the OP), would have the body preserved with ...


31

Post-Edit: With orbital multispectral imaging available there is no way that any remains of our cities will be missed. Some of those remains won't last long, geologically speaking, but others will last through multiple cycles of super continent formation and break up. Although these traces will be small relative to the scale of modern construction, they ...


29

Plastic, plastic, plastic. Metals will rust, organic materials will be consumed by mold and other fungi, but plastic lasts forever. The Temple Start out in a preferably warm, dry climate. However, avoid sandy climates or deserts, where sand and wind will become a problem over time. The West Coast of the U.S. strikes me as a decent location, as long as you ...


28

probably longer than the earth has. Fossilization is a thing, and we have set up many things in perfects places to be fossilized. We bury things in salt mines, seal things in glass, bury massive amounts of garbage in anoxic conditions, etc. On top of that we have built things that will leave traces for billions of years, chernobyl will stick out like a sore ...


24

Very crude rule: Decay damage tends to be top down while deliberate damage tends to be bottom up. I.e., in the case of simple wear the uppermost part is visibly more damaged than the bottom, while in the case of an assault, the damage in the first 4-6 metres from ground level is more pronounced. There are major exceptions, e.g. floods, but it is a good ...


19

In a deliberately destroyed building the roof would probably be gone immediately. In an abandoned building the roof would probably (depending on construction), survive for many years even decades. This would have an effect on the pattern of debris. In a deliberately destroyed building the debris on the floor would consist of roofing materials, wall ...


18

Jewelry! The first telltale clue of an intelligent being buried in that cemeter would be the jewelry -gold, gemstones...all showing a fine craftmanship. Especially diamonds: producers laser-carve an identification code in the crystals, and that would be the definitive proof that these ancestors were some smart people. Also, it could be of help that in some ...


17

Multiple answers have involved radioactivity. This will be quite problematic, though--alpha and beta emitters are completely harmless to someone wearing a simple full-body covering with a filtered air supply. The only threats are gamma and neutron--and such high energy decay is generally coupled with short half lives. The only suitable isotope I'm finding ...


17

One starting point would be to ask what objects have survived for 10000 years in reality? One possible survival would be artwork and jewelry. In particular I am thinking of artwork that was carved into durable materials like stone or bone or glass. Even just painting inside a cave can last 10000 years or more. Since these objects are not themselves "...


16

It depends on how important the buildings are to what your audience is supposed to do with them There is no need to create the whole city in every detail beforehand, you normally just need a rough idea where your family-friendly neighbourhoods should be or your shopping centers. Just make sure that if your audience should get the feeling of being in a ...


15

Keep in mind that archaeology can learn as much by what is missing as by what is present. In the UK we have a stone-age village from thousands of years ago that has been recreated by analyzing the holes in the ground that the huts and their support posts made. These houses were made completely from wood but the evidence lay preserved in the ground until ...


15

The Earth After Us by Jan Zalasiewicz is a book-length treatment of this very question. My main takeaways were not to underestimate the power of erosion, but that some evidence would last a very long time. The lifetime of Mt. Rushmore, as I recall, was measured in the millions of years at most, not hundreds of millions. The book also made the argument that ...


14

The first thing is that archaeologists in the future will know we were here, and that we had some pretty sophisticated tech, because we'll get fossil plastic imprints. Fossil shells are commonplace throughout the geological record. We have enough plastic junk around that some of it will be lost in mud pits. Over years that plastic bottle or whatever will ...


14

Absolutely. The largest traces would be cities (it takes a lot to wipe out even a prehistoric settlement, and there's no way all modern cities could be thoroughly covered in sand). Then, mines: there are mining operations that extend for kilometers, and you're not going to "lose" one in ten thousand years unless you employ several decent-sized asteroid ...


13

Simple use a Money Pit I hear you asking ''What on Earth is a money pit? it sounds terrible for hiding things'' Well the money pit was a well like structure discovered in 1795 (We still are not sure how old it is) made of many layers of wood, clay and brick with small tunnels leading to the ocean. The pit is around 200 feet deep(estimated) but you could ...


13

@AlexP has got it right. Cities rise. From The Atlantic By 1580, when Montaigne visited Rome, the classical city was all but invisible. He observed that when modern Romans dug into the ground, they frequently struck the capitals of tall columns still standing far below. "They do not seek any other foundations for their houses than old ruined ...


12

Tricky to tell since the effects are very similar to conventional explosives Incendiary and blast effects are the primary effects of orbital energy weapons. This is very similar to the effects of conventional explosives. However, there are some tell-tale differences. Characteristics of Nuclear Bombardment Nukes are easy to identify. Lots of ...


12

Pretty much forever. Most decomposition of (human) bodies is done by organisms in the environment in which the body dies. It can also be slowed or eliminated by storing the body in a dry and cold environment, which space certainly fits the description of. One prime example of an extremely well-preserved body is the body of civil rights leader Medgar Evers ...


12

Metal coffins are dripping with clues for an experienced archaeologist. There's a reason that we talk about the Bronze Age, and the Iron Age. Metallurgy has been constantly developed and refined since the beginning of civilization. Our skill with metal would provide many indications as to exactly how technologically advanced we were. While most of us ...


12

Mega Construction We build, not just cities, There are dams huge chunks of smooth cement laced through with even grids of steel. The edges of the Hoover Dam and Three Gorges Dam and Aswan Dam will be there long after the rivers run dry. Mining We dig. There is an open pit mine 3 miles long, 2 miles wide and half a mile deep. It's not the only one. ...


11

This is definitely possible. Radiocarbon and Radioactivity Dating Your notebook was manufactured in a post-nuclear society. Any iron or steel in the notebook (staples, coil binding) will contain tiny bits of radioactive matter. This is actually undesirable in certain cases, such as geiger counters. Your researchers could investigate the metal objects in ...


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