Dead Giveaway is a science fiction novella by Randal Garrett, first published in 1959.
Logic's a wonderful thing; by logical analysis, one can determine the necessary reason for the existence of a dead city of a very high order on an utterly useless planet. Obviously a shipping transfer point! Necessarily...
A domed, abandoned alien city is discovered on an uninhabitable Centaurus planet. The artifacts are a scientific windfall. But why was it abandoned? Where are the aliens?
Randall Garrett (1927-1987) was an American science fiction and fantasy author. He was a prolific contributor to Astounding and other science fiction magazines of the 1950s and 1960s. He instructed Robert Silverberg in the techniques of selling large quantities of action-adventure science fiction, and collaborated with him on two novels about Earth bringing civilization to an alien planet.