Topics Related to Climate Change

The OSA is currently conducting two projects, assessing and documenting the impacts of hurricanes on shoreline archaeological resources and cemeteries across several of North Carolina’s coastal counties. These initiatives, in the planning stages since 2020, have now entered the exciting phase of fieldwork!

The Inner Coastal Plain has been a persistent place for living and farming for millennia. This legacy is seen in the farms and villages that still sprinkle the landscape. But as the climate changes, these sites are not immune to loss.

The ever-changing Outer Coastal Plain, with its dynamic barrier islands and shifting marshlands and pine groves, affects the vast archaeological resources across its landscape

The relationship between biology and archaeological sites is complex, but understanding these processes is essential, especially with the significant changes we are witnessing today.

North Carolina's coastline and interior waterways are dotted with shipwrecks and submerged resources. Changing conditions, including warmer temperatures, increased acidity, stronger storms, are impacting these environments and affecting the stability of the submerged sites.

It's crucial to remember that winds, especially during extreme weather, can cause serious damage to archaeological sites.

The increase in temperatures due to global climate change poses significant challenges for the preservation and stability of archaeological and cultural heritage sites.

The current and impending changes to water and its systems will alter our future and our past, putting our shared cultural heritage at risk.

Projects investigating the past and present threats of climate change can provide a starting point for studying, analyzing, and managing cultural heritage at risk in North Carolina.

Archaeologists have long been studying the impacts of environmental change on cultural heritage sites and archaeological resources. These physical, chemical, and biological forces have a direct effect on site preservation by changing the deposits and disturbing buried contexts.