Coastal erosion threatening archaeological remains in Rousay, Orkney

Archaeology, Climate and Environment Today

The Glacier Archaeology Program

The Glacier Archaeology Program in Innlandet

The Glacier Archaeology Program is a cooperation between

Innlandet County Council and the Museum of Cultural History, University of Oslo.

The scale of the archaeological material from glaciers and ice patches in Innlandet became visible during the big melt in the fall of 2006. From this year we have worked continously with the rescue of finds from the ice.

The Glacier Archaeology Program started in 2011. The program has provided us with the opportunity to work systematically with the finds from the ice. It has resulted in a large number of artefact recoveries and an overview of the most important archaeological find areas.

Fifty-one glaciers and ice patches in Innlandet have provided artefacts. More than 3000 finds have been recovered – hunting tools, transport equipment, textiles, leather and clothing. Zoological material has also been recovered from the ice (antler, bone and dung). The oldest finds are 6000 years old.

(Text from Secrets of the Ice website.)

The cranium of an unlucky packhorse that did not make it across the ice. Photo: Espen Finstad,

Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network (CITiZAN)

CITiZAN is an award-winning community-led MOLA project which aims to tackle the problem of coastal erosion on foreshore and intertidal archaeological sites.

The broad themes studied by CITiZAN are Nautical Archaeology, Coastal Defences, Coastal Industries, Lost Settlements and Lost Landscapes all of which are under constant threat from under constant threat from wind, waves and storms.

Obviously, CITiZAN cannot record all of the threatened sites on over 6,500 miles of the English coastline, so there are currently six Discovery programmes: Liverpool Bay, South Devon Rivers, Solent Harbours, Humberside, Mersea Island, and East Kent Coast. By providing resources and training programmes, CITiZAN is able to mobilise an army of volunteers to record threatened sites

Local CITiZAN volunteers working together to record a shipwreck off Seven Sisters, East Sussex

© CITiZAN (Coastal and Intertidal Zone Archaeological Network)

Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion (SCAPE)

In 1996 Historic Scotland, as it was then, commissioned a series of coastal zone assessment surveys which recorded all archaeological sites as well as the geology, geomorphology and erosion class.

In 2000, Historic Environment Scotland asked Tom Dawson from the University of St Andrews School of History to take over the management of the coastal surveys. Together with Historic Environment Scotland, Dawson established the SCAPE Trust (Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion), a charity set up to research and promote the archaeology of Scotland’s coast.

SCAPE manages a community project called Shorewatch which encourages and assists local communities to locate, record and monitor archaeological sites around Scotland’s coast.

A community excavation of a complex Bronze Age burnt mound eroding on a beach in Sanday, Orkney