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21 November 2010
Archaeological sites vulnerable to global warming and erosion

A call to action has been proposed in the Journal of Coastal Conservation. A study by Leslie Reeder from Southern Methodist University (USA), Torben Rick at the Smithsonian Institution and Jon Erlandson from the University of Oregon (USA) suggests that archaeologists should begin to prioritize which coastal archaeological treasures should be preserved. Rising sea levels, erosion of coastlines and wave action threatens thousands of sites. Increasing development of highly desirable beachfront locations also contributes to destruction of the historical record.
     The researchers used the Santa Barbara Channel off of California as the model for their work. Other sites on the Atlantic and Gulf coats are at even higher risk. "We must find ways to act by quantifying those sites most vulnerable to destruction, we take a first step toward mitigating the loss of archaeological data and the shared cultural patrimony they contain."
Edited from PhysOrg (12 November 2010)

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