Die vom Archaeological Heritage Network und dem Deutschen The conference “GROUND CHECK – Cultural Heritage and Climate Change” hosted by the Archaeological Heritage Network and the German Archaeological Institute will start on 24 March 2020 with an opening event at Altes Stadthaus in Berlin. On 25 and 26 March the conference will take place at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT).
About the Conference
Modern archeology examines all facets of human life. This also
includes the effects of climate changes on the environmental conditions
in which people lived in the past, and which they also influenced. It
provides high-resolution data on local and regional effects of climate
changes in a broad temporal perspective. We know about global climate
fluctuations extending far back in time from global archives such as
deep sea cores and ice sheets. These climate changes did not affect
people to the same degree everywhere. In cooperation with many other
disciplines, archeology can thus reconstruct the concrete effects on the
lived reality of past communities, as well as their reaction to them.
But archeology and cultural heritage are also affected by current
climate change. Global warming with its very different local effects
also entails a wide range of threats to the cultural heritage of the
past. The rise in sea level affects not only the distant Pacific islands
and their cultural heritage, but also the coasts of Europe. Initial
forecasts and calculations show which World Heritage Sites on the
Mediterranean coast would end up under water, depending on the extent of
sea level rise. The thawing of the permafrost also thaws all the
archaeological evidence that has been protected for long periods. Unique
contexts and artifacts, such as those made of wood and leather, will
thus be lost.
In interaction with many different disciplines, archeology can
contribute to knowledge about climate change. In the area of cultural
preservation we face growing challenges that result from the effects of
climate change and can also only be solved in an interdisciplinary
manner, jointly and in networks. However, this requires taking stock and
discussing the challenges together. The conference aims to focus on the
two main topics—research on climate change in its concrete local and
regional effects in a long-term perspective, and the effects of climate
change on our cultural heritage today—and to intensify international
The opening event on 24 March will be held in cooperation with the Landesdenkmalamt Berlin. The Archaeological Heritage Network is supported by the Federal Foreign Office.
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