Coastal Heritage and Climate Change—A Monumental Challenge to Preserve the Past in the 21st Century
April 14, 2022 @ 6:00 pm EDT Eastern Time
Richmond, VA United States
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
AIA Society: Richmond
Lecturer: Leslie A. Reeder-Myers
Twenty-first century climate change threatens all kinds of cultural heritage—archaeological sites, historic monuments and buildings, traditional subsistence or cultural practices, among many others. This is especially urgent in coastal areas where the triple threat of rising sea level, more powerful coastal storms, and growing coastal populations create a monumental challenge. At the same time, though, people are placing a greater value on cultural heritage and gaining a better understanding of how precarious these resources are. In this talk, I will discuss global efforts to, first, understand the scale of the problem and, second, decide how to address it. Archaeologists cannot overcome this challenge alone, nor is it possible to save everything. We must develop strong community partnerships and think creatively about what is truly valuable in cultural heritage. I will specifically discuss my research in coastal California and the importance of partnering with indigenous communities to decide what matters most in cultural heritage.
Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic:
There are lots of great organizations doing work related to this talk around the world. I would suggest looking at the Florida Public Archaeology Network (https://www.flpublicarchaeology.org/) and the Scotish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion Trust (https://scapetrust.org/).