Breakout Session 7
Session #7A | Archaeology of the Water’s Edge: Quantifying the Effect of Shoreline Change on Maritime Archaeological Resources in Virginia’s Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula
Since the Fall of 2015, the Longwood Institute of Archaeology has been engaged in a shoreline survey of Middlesex, Mathews, Lancaster and Northumberland counties for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources as part of the Hurricane Sandy projects funded by the National Park Service. Using a combination of field inspection, shoreline change analysis, and probabilistic modeling, Institute Staff and current Longwood University students documented the impacts of shoreline change on previously recorded resources and identified shoreline locations with a high probability to contain archaeological resources that are most threatened by continuing erosional trends.
In this presentation we discuss the approaches employed in the development of the models leading up to the field investigation and their subsequent refinement as well as the methods used to create a baseline dataset that can be used in future archaeological shoreline impact assessments.
- Brian D. Bates | Professor of Anthropology, Longwood Institute of Archaeology, Longwood University
Session #7B | Using the Digital Index of North American Archaeology for Rapid Disaster Response and Reporting
Strong and erratic weather events, and general sea level rise, as products of global climate change projected for future decades, have significant likelihood to ultimately impact a large but unpredictable fraction of both pre-Columbian and historic human habitation of the coastal margin of the Southeast. While archaeologists have raised alarm about the prospect of climate change related destruction, the lack of comprehensive data about archaeological sites has made it difficult to understand the nature and scope of the threats. The Digital Index of North American Archaeology (DINAA), a multi-institutional collaboration aggregating archaeological data from multiple sources, provides a new window on the scope of the challenge. Simple awareness of the presence of sensitive historic resources within an impacted area can facilitate stabilization and prevent further, inadvertent damage during disaster response efforts. The non-sensitive nature of DINAA data allows for open distribution without fear of endangering sites to looting and without the time consuming process of vetting authorized information viewers. A set of comparative use scenarios for DINAA to facilitate intragovemmental, intergovernmental, and government-to-public communications and example response activities will be discussed.
- Jolene Smith | Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Digital Index of North American Archaeology
Session #7C | In the Face of the Flood: A County’s Efforts to Mitigate a Potential Massive Loss of Cultural Resources
Climate change is impacting Anne Arundel County, Maryland in a way that is extreme and remarkable with a rate of sea level rise that is nearly twice the global average. Historic properties and archaeological sites are increasingly at risk of inundation on the County’s shorelines. Anne Arundel County Trust for Preservation, Inc. has received a cultural resources hazard mitigation grant through the National Park Service’s Hurricane Sandy Disaster Relief Fund (administered by the Maryland Historical Trust) and is partnering with Anne Arundel County’s Cultural Resources Division to identify, evaluate, and document imminently threatened archaeological and historic sites in the County that are in the high-risk flood zones in Pasadena, Jessup, Laurel, Maryland City, Shady Side, and Deale. This paper will discuss the field and research methodology employed for assessing a massively large number of historic resources and archaeological sites at high risk of inundation. This project demonstrates the value of a united team effort in facing the challenge of undertaking a large
survey area, the benefits of developing a collaboration across disciplines, the use of a GIS database to prioritize cultural resources across a wider area, and the importance of both assessing and inventorying coastal sites endangered from natural hazards in order to mitigate the potential loss of these sites.
- Anastasia Poulos | Archaeology Sites Planner, Cultural Resources Division, OPZ, Anne Arundel County Government
Session #7D | Managing the Effects of Climate Change and Sea Level Rise on Archaeological Sites at Fort Eustis, Newport News, VA
Global climate change poses myriad threats to coastal and riverine cultural heritage, which encompasses a range of categories such as, but by no means limited to, archaeological sites, underwater shipwrecks, historic buildings, paintings, and oral traditions. Perhaps the most pressing threat to tangible cultural heritage such as archaeological sites and historic buildings is erosion resulting from sea level rise, increased tidal range, flooding from increased rainfall, and intensifying storm surges. The preservation of cultural heritage does not stop at project completion, but must be extended throughout the use-life of a project. The question then becomes, how we can factor the threats from climate change into impact assessment, project planning, and design, to better protect cultural heritage (and other important resources) over the long-term, not just during project construction? This session will focus on a case study from a U.S. military installation, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, in Tidewater Virginia. For the study, AECOM assessed 31 threatened archaeological sites, and then made recommendations regarding site significance and long-term planning and mitigation for each site, as appropriate.
- Emily Dhingra | Project Manager, Coastal Team Lead, Senior Coastal Engineer AECOM