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crumbling coastline threat to heritage
Experts say as many as one-third of the sites in the islands, such as the 5000-year-old Stone Age village of Skara Brae – one of the world's leading New Stone Age attractions – are at risk.
Tens of thousands of tourists visit them every year.
The University of the Highlands and Islands and Orkney's community archaeologist, Julie Gibson, said: "Scotland has the longest coastline in Europe and, as a maritime nation, much of our heritage relates to the sea. Around Orkney, more than one thousand archaeological sites are threatened or are being actively damaged.
"The 5000-year-old Stone Age village of Skara Brae is dependent upon a sea wall that requires constant maintenance, the medieval site of Langskaill in Westray retreated five metres in one go a few years back, and a Pictish site on Lamb Holm went from being a visible building to nothing but a line of rubble.
"Such erosion not only causes us to lose information about our past, but may also damage Scotland's future economy and the livelihoods of people in remote and rural areas

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On the flip side, coastal erosion often leads to the discovery of sites, including that of Skara Brae.
Yep - coastal erosion is a pain! But reading between the lines it sounds like the author is calling for money to build up coastal defenses in a desperate attempt to hold back the tide - even a silly Cnut could point out the futility. There may be a case for large-scale "rescue" digs to sterilise the coasts in order to at least preserve by record that which we cannot hope to protect in situ...
The pre-Anglian site at Pakefield, Suffolk - reportedly at 700,000 years BP the oldest homonid site north of the Alps - was also disovered as a result of coastal erosion. I think the problem isn't so much coastal erosion, that is something that we are stuck with as it's impossible to protect more than a small amount of our huge coastline, but whether the areas subject to the greatest and most significant erosion are being regularly monitored.....discuss!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
I would hope that we at least take the realistic decision to de-schedule such sites far enough in advance to allow their safe excavation - by the time it's falling into the sea all you can do is collect the finds from the beach.
Quote:There may be a case for large-scale "rescue" digs to sterilise the coasts

Woohoo! Jobs for all the nice boys and girls!!
I bagsie a few kilometres of coast somewhere outside Cannes.
SCAPE is a charity that seeks to research, conserve and promote the archaeology of Scotland's coast. SCAPE is especially interested in remains that are threatened by coastal erosion. This website contains pages that will tell you about our projects.

Is Scotland ahead of the game?

Now moving onto next phase
Scotland's Coastal Heritage at Risk

Much of Scotland’s coast is experiencing rapid change. Coastal erosion is a natural process, but surveys have shown that thousands of archaeological sites and historic remains are threatened with destruction. Because the coast is so dynamic, it is difficult to keep up to date with what is being destroyed or uncovered.
Get involved in recording Scotland's eroding coastal heritage

If enough 'citizen archaeologists' in Scotland can monitor, record and submit information about local coastal heritage; collectively we can tackle this issue.
Our free smartphone app and interactive map makes contributing really straightforward. To find out about what the project hopes to do, how you can be involved, and what it can offer you... read on

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