||Assessing the impact of climate change on the preservation of archaeological sites
7 May. In early April, a roundtable brought together professionals involved in climate prediction modelling and cultural heritage, to assess climate change-induced risks and their relationship to all other risks commonly threatening archaeological sites.
The event was organized at Acropolis Museum in Athens by the Initiative for Heritage Conservancy, in collaboration with the University of Kent, ICCROM, the Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI), UCL-Qatar, and with the financial support of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
The roundtable included public and closed sessions. During the closed sessions, participants worked in groups. The first group focused on all risks to archaeological sites, excluding the effects of climate change; the second group discussed what the risks might be to archaeological sites due to climate change; and the third group considered the ways in which management of archaeological sites should respond to both new and increased risks due to climate change. Participants then shared and discussed their results.
The overall conclusion was that the competent management of risks, old and new, requires not just the best available knowledge, communicated to the right decision-makers at the right time, but also organizational resilience, now more than ever. Models can show us how parts of complex climate change scenarios will unfold, for example, how patterns of stone deterioration may shift, how coastal regions may respond to sea level change, or how glacial sites may vanish. However, site managers (and their colleagues) should not plan using a single long term prediction. They must prepare for various possible outcomes, incorporate understanding of their particular site and regional vulnerabilities, and then respond in a timely way to those risks that actually unfold. For some, this will be a large shift in priorities; for some much less.
With the state-of-the-art presentations as a shared foundation, and with the opportunity for long structured discussions so often missing at conferences, the contributors are now able to revisit their papers and incorporate new ideas and arguments. A final publication is envisaged for 2013 as part of the ICCROM Conservation Studies series.
- Thomas D. Andrews, Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, Canada
- Giovanni Boccardi, UNESCO, World Heritage Centre
- Peter Brimblecombe, University of East Anglia, United Kingdom
- Erasmo Buonomo, Hadley Centre - Met Office, United Kingdom
- Carolina Castellanos, Independent Cultural Heritage Consultant, Mexico
- John Fidler, John Fidler Preservation Technology Inc, United States
- Stavroula Golfomitsou, UCL Qatar
- Ehud Galili, Israel Antiquities Authority
- Alison Heritage, ICCROM
- Elena Korka, Ministry of Culture, Greece
- Evangelos Kyriakides, IHC, University of Kent, United Kingdom
- Stefan Michalski, Canadian Conservation Institute
- David Orrell, Mathematician, Independent Consultant, United Kingdom and Canada
- Rohit Jigyasu, Research Center for Disaster Mitigation of Urban Cultural Heritage, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
- Christos S. Zerefos, University of Athens, Greece
7 May, 2012->