Sea-level rise may impact vast numbers of archaeological and historic sites, cemeteries, and landscapes on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the southeastern United States, according to a study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by David Anderson from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA, and colleagues.
|Flooded moat in the grounds of Castillo de San Marcos in the wake of Hurricane Matthew in St. Augustine, Fla., |
on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016 [Credit: Ricardo Rameriz Buxeda, Orlando Sentinel, TNS via Getty Images]
Just in the remainder of this century, if projected trends in sea-level rise continue, the researchers predict that over 13,000 recorded archaeological sites in the southeast alone may be submerged with a 1 m rise in sea-level, including over 1,000 listed on the National Register of Historic Places as important cultural properties. Many more sites and structures that have not yet been recorded will also be lost.
|Tens of thousands of known archaeological sites are threatened by sea level rise in the southeast, |
and far more currently unknown and unrecorded, as shown here at low spatial resolution
[Credit: Anderson et al., 2017]
Anderson notes: "Sea-level rise in the coming years will destroy vast numbers of archaeological sites, buildings, cemeteries, and cultural landscapes. Developing informatics capabilities at regional and continental scales like DINAA (Digital Index of North American Archaeology) is essential if we are to effectively plan for, and help mitigate, this loss of human history."
Source: PLOS [November 29, 2017]