Rising Tide/Melting Ice: The preservation of world archaeological heritage in a time of climate change - an on-line dialogue

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Rising tide cover

Global weather patterns are changing and with these changes come significant threats to the preservation of world archaeological heritage. An increasing number of coastal sites are vulnerable to inundation and ruin by rising sea levels. And as temperatures rise in some parts of the world those archaeological remains which have laid frozen in the permafrost, in a state of spectacular preservation, are beginning to thaw and rot. The need to raise awareness of how global climate change is affecting archaeological heritage is clear and the timeframe left to us to address this challenge is growing ever shorter. From Easter Island to the Altai Mountains, archaeological sites are increasingly at risk due to changing weather patterns and climate shifts.

Cassar, May
Curry, Andrew
Gheyle, Wouter
Wednesday, 18 January, 2012 - 19:00
University College London (UCL)
United Kingdom


Having just watched the event online, it is interesting to hear that one of the few actions conservators can take to address the issue of damage from climate change is undertake good documentation. Yet, documentation is still somewhat peripheral to every day conservation activity and in the majority of the cases (and the projects presented are exceptions), little effort is made to research and assess documentation methodologies.

This was a superb event: both speakers clear, concise, non-sensational yet truly alarming; and very well moderated by May Cassar. How widely are these messages spread, I wonder? Perhaps these have already hit the news-stands, but if not a start could be (in the UK) BBCRadio4's "Material World", an exvellent scioence programm,e which often includes archaeology.

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