From D@W there’s the concept of buying raw materials to speed construction time - D@W:Campaigns pg 51, Construction Materials.
In that section there’s a part of scavenging from nearby buildings: If scavenged from nearby buildings, the labor cost is reduced by 25%, but the value of the buildings is reduced by twice that amount. (where the amount being referred to is the cost of the construction project.
So, the guesswork in that may be deciding what the total original urban investment of the settlement was, then decrease that by whatever the decay rate over time of the buildings should be, and then you’re left with the amount of usable material can be drug out of the ruins.
Using the example from D@W:C, if we’re building a 200,000GP stronghold near the ruins, we want to get 50,000 gp worth (25%) of raw materials out of the ruins, max.
A Class I city usually has 20,000 or more families in it. Depending on how you read the Urban Investment Table on pg 133 of ACKS, that minimially-sized Class I may have 2.5 million GP invested in it (to get above the 19,999 family limit, and press it into a Class I)
That 50K we were looking for is 100K of actual materials value (as the value of materials regained is half value taken out of the building) which is only 4% of that investment. I’d expect you’d be able to find at least that much if not much, much more over just a few centuries. Have to do some Googling around, I don’t know if there’s much about the decay rate of real-world sites - that’s the key to deciding the remaining value of a stronghold or settlement over time.
Another thought, since we’d hate to give players anything for free, the value of the raw materials they get out of the ruins should be offset by monster lairs and encounters they occasionally dig up/disturb - the XP value of which could be equal to around a quarter (or less, to be generous) of the value of the raw materials they’re getting out of it.
In this case, that could be a 12,500XP value of monsters - a single venerable dragon, just about.
Randomly, that may give us proof in mechanics of the “dug too greedily and too deep” trope, or the Dwarf Fortress rule - the Moria dwarves got the value of their mining back in a single balrog lair.