a significant amount of ancient civilizations have evolved past what we know today, and live in hidden cities in ancient sites… to protect themselves, there is a perception filter/cloaking field about these places, making it look like there is nothing but ruins and ancient monuments remaining.
Additional: Archaeologists are the BANE of their existence.
Children live in fear of failing out of school and having to become an achaeologist wrangler…
Honestly, where everyone else in the world looks at ruins and goes on their way, archaeologists have this drive to just waltz right the fuck through the perception filter.
Wranglers have to intercept, provide a handful of ‘authentic’ ancient dusty items (they replicated 3 mins before and dunked in dust for that old-timey look), provide a brief distractionary explanation of what the fuck is happening while the mind-wipe techs lock on to the visitor’s biosignature… then help carry them back outside the barrier, and put them in their car or somewhere equally ambiguous, afterwards.
The tracking chip usually alerts them if the archaeologist remembers and comes back, or is just a really persistent pain in the ass. On the fifth incursion event, they just flat-out keep the fuckers; saves on paperwork, and stops permanent memory damage from so many wipes.
They get placed with an amenable, patient family, and integrated into society. Some even end up archaeologist wranglers themselves, in a weird twist of irony.
It’s interesting for everyone.