Coastal Geocatastrophes as Agents of Change on Multiple Time Scales: A Case Study from the Shetland Islands, UK
The coasts of northernmost Britain and neighboring North Sea countries offer numerous examples of sand environments that have been both settled and completely abandoned by humans at various times. These areas' rich archaeological records reveal many examples of once-thriving human settlements that were challenged and eventually terminated by burial in aeolian sand over periods ranging from days to decades. The origins and socio-ecological dynamics of these geocatastrophes may reflect important patterns of human adaptation or mismanagement conditioned by large, inter-regional forces such as climate change and international politics, down to local phenomena that operated at the community or even individual landholder level. This paper reports on interim findings of research by the Shetland Islands Climate and Settlement Project on a prosperous farming community that was permanently destroyed by drifting sand in the late 17th century CE, a period of dramatic climatic and political changes that also offers a broad range of documentary, archaeological and environmental evidence for high resolution dating and interpretation.
Cite this Record
Coastal Geocatastrophes as Agents of Change on Multiple Time Scales: A Case Study from the Shetland Islands, UK. Gerald F. Bigelow, Michael E. Jones, Casey Oehler. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 444250)
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
min long: -26.016; min lat: 53.54 ; max long: 31.816; max lat: 80.817 ;
Abstract Id(s): 20147