Drowning the Library: Sea-Level Rise and Archaeological Site Destruction in the Southeastern United States
The impacts of past and projected climate change and specifically sea level fluctuations on heritage resources are examined across the southeastern US using site and environmental data integrated in DINAA (Digital Index of North American Archaeology). Minor changes in sea level have shaped human settlement from the late Pleistocene onward, including in recent millennia when shorelines are incorrectly assumed to have stabilized at or near present levels. In the near term, tens of thousands of known archaeological sites and historic structures, and countless more currently unknown or undocumented, will be lost given modest (1-5m) changes in sea level. Millions of people will also need to move, which, depending on where they relocate and how potential flooding is to be mitigated, will also lead to the vast destruction of heritage resources. Consideration of large linked datasets is essential to developing procedures for the sampling, triage, and mitigation of predicted losses to our collective heritage. DINAA is one of several emerging solutions to the challenge of working with the vast record about the past that has been generated. Positive, multi-organizational collaboration facilitating open access to linked heritage and environmental data from multiple sources is essential to saving the past for the future.
Cite this Record
Drowning the Library: Sea-Level Rise and Archaeological Site Destruction in the Southeastern United States. David Anderson, Thaddeus Bissett, Stephen Yerka, Joshua J. Wells, Eric Kansa. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443823)
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min long: -93.735; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -73.389; max lat: 39.572 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20466