Session: #289

Theme & Session Format

Global change and archaeology
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

European Origins and Fading Heritage
This session address how we can preserve our origins for the future? Archaeological sites in Europe are today heavily affected by modern land use and climate change. As taphonomic processes are speeding up due to changing soil conditions, drainage, acidification, extensive use of wetlands for agriculture, forestry and expanding urbanization, the degradation of prehistoric sites and materials are intensified to a degree not seen before. This also means that the prerequisites for in situ preservation have changed significantly and that we today cannot be certain that even protected sites are not under intensified degradation. Questions about organic preservation have become even more pressing during recent years as advances in archaeo-science have progressed, demonstrating that organic residues and proteins of archaeological materials are immense resources of information about ourselves and our prehistory. The paradox is that the archaeological organic materials, which are now increasingly deteriorating, are the materials that we are in most need of in future studies of our prehistory.
In order to mitigate the destruction of in situ archaeological contexts and materials an important questions that we need to explore concerns how organic remains (artefacts, human waste and environmental indicators etc.) in different landscapes and environments currently are preserved. For example, what is the preservation today in rock shelters, in mineral soils, from wetland contexts and from submarine sites?
We find that there is need for a discussion about how archaeological sites best are preserved. The European legislations of archaeological heritage preservation are in this discussion also important to address.
There are no chronological or regional limitations for the presentations and the discussions in this session.
Heritage, Preservation, Anthropocene, origin, Stone Age
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:


Main organiser:
Mikkel S?rensen (Denmark) 1
Daniel GroƟ (Germany) 2
Adam Boethius (Sweden) 3
1. University of Copenhagen, The Saxo Institute
2. Centre for Baltic and Scandinavian Archaeology
3. Lunds University