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Erosion and coastal archaeology: Evaluating the threat and prioritising action

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)


School/Research organisations


The archaeology of coastal regions is rich and varied, but is facing increasing pressures from natural processes. Regardless of how the climate may change in the future, many coastal archaeological sites are threatened by erosion now. In order to manage this resource, it is essential to identify both sites and vulnerable stretches of coast. This paper introduces the Scottish situation and discusses recent approaches taken in Scotland, where a methodology has been developed that is applicable to all coastal areas. The first stage of the approach has been to undertake desk-based and field surveys in order to identify what is at risk and to gauge its vulnerability. The next stage has been to produce and review recommended actions for vulnerable sites. Finally, a shortlist of sites has been produced that prioritises actions according to the importance and level of threat posed to individual sites. Looking ahead, a new project will seek to further refine this shortlist by harnessing public opinion and local knowledge in order to ensure that action is taken at sites valued both by archaeologists and the wider public.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAncient Maritime Communities and the Relationship between People and Environment along the European Atlantic Coasts
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the HOMER 2011 Conference, Vannes, France, 28 Sep - 1 Oct 2011
EditorsMarie-Yvane Daire, Catherine Dupont, Anna Baudry, Cyrille Billard, Jean-Marc Large, Laurent Lespez, Eric Normand, Chris Scarre
Place of PublicationOxford
ISBN (Print)9781407311913
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventHOMER 2011 Conference - Vannes, France
Duration: 28 Sep 20111 Oct 2011

Publication series

NameBAR International Series


ConferenceHOMER 2011 Conference

    Research areas

  • Coastal archaeology, Heritage management, Coastal Erosion, Scotland, Mobile phone app, Public archaeology

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ID: 79506113