Author Archives: cer858

A Vulnerability Assessment of Coastal Archaeological Sites in the United States

A recent study in the United States by Leslie Reeder-Myers presents another vulnerability assessment  at three varying coastal locations: the mountainous coast of California’s Santa Barbara Channel, the wetlands and sandy shores of Texas, and the protected estuarine shores of Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay (Reeder-Myers 2015: 1). This vulnerability assessment takes into account varying factors, such as distance of archaeological resources from coast, elevation of archaeological sites, shoreline vulnerability and land use. Follow the link below to see the results of this assessment.

Reeder-Myers(2015)

 

 

Canadian Archaeological Association, St. John’s 2015

The CAA’s, held here in St. John’s, was a resounding success. A common thread seen within many of the presentations were the effects of climate change on the archaeological resources. The CARRA session, Responding to the challenge: Coastal heritage site management under changing climate and environment, held on the 2nd May was a timely session to have at the end of the CAA’s. The CARRA team presented three papers with the results of the CARRA project of predicting, prioritising and protecting archaeological resources on the coast:

Storey, Marc A. (Memorial University), Ariel Pollard-Belsheim (Memorial University), Christina Robinson (Memorial University) and Trevor Bell (Memorial University)

Assessing the vulnerability of archaeological sites to coastal inundation in Newfoundland and Labrador: a management tool to scope the issue

Pollard-Belsheim, Ariel (Memorial University) and Trevor Bell (Memorial University)

Current practices in the prioritization of at-risk archaeological resources for management action and their application to eroding coastal sites in Bonavsita Bay, Newfoundland

Robinson, Christina (Memorial University) and Trevor Bell (Memorial University)

Building adaptation knowledge through practice: Case studies of coastal archaeological site protection measures in Canada

In addition to these three papers Rebecca Dunham, from Fortress of Loiusbourg, presented the results of an in-depth study to develop a comprehensive conservation plan for Fortress of Loiusbourg in the face of sea-level rise:

Eroding Coastal Heritage – What Gives? Defining a Coastal Heritage Conservation Solution for the Fortress of Louisbourg

To read the abstracts for theses papers please visit the CAA web page.

Weather Beaten Archaeology in Sligo, Ireland

A few of the many presenters at the WBA conference at IT Sligo

A few of the many presenters at the WBA conference at IT Sligo

Over March 7-8 Marc was able to participate in the Weather Beaten Archaeology conference at the Institute of Technology, Sligo, Ireland. This conference represents among the first such gatherings of archaeologists, heritage managers and professionals, and climate scientists to discuss the impacts of a changing climate on cultural resources, particularly those in coastal settings.

A packed house for Tom Dawson's discussion of the SCAPE project

A packed house for Tom Dawson’s discussion of the SCAPE project

From the outstanding array of speakers were representatives from Ireland, England, Scotland, France, Wales, Northern Ireland, Iceland and, ourselves, Canada. While geographically spread across the whole of the North Atlantic, the issues raised by each presenter was echoed throughout the conference, that coastal archaeological sites are especially vulnerable to a changing climate and increased storminess and that the urgent protection and preservation of these resources is a complex challenge.

A field trip out to 'Shelly Valley' in Strandhill - a staggering concentration of prehistoric shell middens amongst a massive coastal dune system

A field trip out to ‘Shelly Valley’ in Strandhill – a staggering concentration of exposed prehistoric shell middens amongst a massive coastal dune system

Hopefully, following on from this conference, the CARRA project will take part in the wider, international community of researchers investigating and trialling approaches to identify, prioritise, and protect our vulnerable shared cultural heritage.

Coffee and Culture afternoon

Yesterday afternoon the CARRA team presented at the Coffee and Culture afternoon, invited by the Newfoundland and Labrador Archaeological Society (NLAS) in association with The Rooms. The NLAS record and broadcast all of the presentations that they host and the CARRA presentation can be found on the link below.

Rooms_Talk

Geomatics Atlantic 2014, St. John’s

Marc Storey presented on November 4th at the Geomatics Atlantic 2014 conference with his paper entitled: A Comparative Analysis of Digital Geospatial Data Resolution towards Vulnerability Assessments for Coastal Heritage Resources – Helping Heritage Managers meet the Challenges of Changing Coastal Zones.

Geo_Atlantic

Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador AGM and Confrence

The CARRA team were invited to present by the Museum Association of Newfoundland and Labrador, on October 18th, at their AGM and conference on Climate Change & Museums. To see further details of the conference please follow the link below.

 MANL

Canadian Archaeological Association Session

The CARRA team has just submitted their abstract to the CAA to run a session during their 47th annual meeting, April 29th-May 3rd 2015. The abstract can be seen below and will be posted on both the CAA web and facebook page.

Title:

Responding to the challenge: Coastal heritage site management under changing climate and environment

Session Chairs:

Trevor Bell and Christina Robinson

Session Abstract:

Climate change is increasingly recognised by heritage managers as a major challenge to be addressed within historic and archaeological site management plans. The coastal zone in particular has experienced some of the greatest impacts of a changing climate, and consequently heritage resources on the coast are highly vulnerable to damage or loss. This session, sponsored by the Coastal Archaeological Resources Risk Assessment (CARRA) project, aims to bring together heritage managers, coastal scientists and archaeologists to share and discuss current practices in site vulnerability assessment, site prioritisation for action and site management options. Session presentations and discussion will contribute to an online community of practice, hosted by CARRA, that addresses the challenge of how best to negate, mitigate or concede to the effects of climate change and coastal hazards on heritage resources.

To participate in this session please contact Trevor Bell (tbell@mun.ca) or Christina Robinson (cer858@mun.ca).

The eSCOPES Project: preservation by record…

Could the method of photogrammetry be added to the archaeologist’s methodological toolbox as a means to record those sites that are rapidly disappearing from our coastlines?

The eSCOPES Project (Evolving spaces: coastal landscapes of the Neolithic in the European Land`s Ends) is testing this method to both record and monitor sites that are at-risk from sea-level rise. Follow the link below to read further.

Figure 4

Le Lomer (Brittany, France); preliminary 3D photomosaic of the eroding cliff showing remains of the megalithic monument (eSCOPES Project 2014)

Cultural resources in Florida at risk

Here is a study from the University of Florida that uses past and present climate to predict the affects of sea-level rise in the future with all their background data available. Hopefully in time they will also post their actions on adaptation and/or mitigation where possible. Keep a close eye on this one.

NPSThe Florida State University

Some alarming results from coastal Virgina….

Here is a study by the Virginia Department of Historic Resources that highlights the imminent threat of sea-level rise on archaeological resources. Of  Virginia’s 17,230 sites, 281 are currently located in the coastal plain. With a rise of only one-foot 500 more sites will be impacted by sea-level rise. Read more on the link below.

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