Mitigating Climate Change Impacts on Heritage Sites?


How fast do archaeological deposits, soil features and artefacts degrade? Is it possible to preserve archaeological remains in situ without significant loss of information potential? Climate change causing higher temperatures, increased and more concentrated precipitation events, changes from snow to rain, may lead to an irrevocable loss of information. Even small changes in the conditions of deposition, as caused by the global environmental development or local structural changes, may accelerate deterioration. This paper presents archaeological observations and results of palaeoecological and geochemical analyses of archaeological deposits from two rural sites in northernmost Norway. These are combined with climate data and the first period of continuous monitoring of soil temperature, moisture and redox potential in sections. This data constitutes the basic research material for evaluations of conservation state and preservation conditions. The data has been collected in an interdisciplinary research project. The results have consequences for the heritage management of a large number of sites from all periods. Palaeoecological analyses and redox measurements have revealed ongoing decay that might not otherwise have been detected. Decay studies indicate that both site types may be at risk with the predicted climate change. Some strategies for mitigation and management are suggested.

Cite this Record

Mitigating Climate Change Impacts on Heritage Sites?. Vibeke Vandrup Martens, Michel Vorenhout, Ove Bergersen, Paula Utigard Sandvik, Jørgen Hollesen. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431041)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15799