Archaeological sites: Assessment of erosion risk



Davidson D, Grieve I, Tyler A, Barclay GJ & Maxwell GS (1998) Archaeological sites: Assessment of erosion risk. Journal of Archaeological Science, 25 (9), pp. 857-860.;

The importance of archaeological sites in terms of their cultural record and scientific value is widely appreciated. The development of any policy designed to conserve archaeological sites must be based on an assessment of their potential worth and the extent to which they are at risk from processes which could lead to the deterioration or loss of the archaeological record. There is need to develop methodologies for assessing the sensitivity of archaeological sites to soil erosion. This paper reports the innovative use ofin situas well as laboratory derived values of137Cs activity for estimating erosion rates at a cropmark site underlain by sands and gravels. The results indicate an erosion rate for this Neolithic site of 0·5 mm/a, well above an acceptable soil loss tolerance value. It is proposed that such an approach can provide the basis for erosion hazard assessment of cropmark sites thought to be at risk.

erosion; archaeological sites; caesium method; site conservation

Journal of Archaeological Science: Volume 25, Issue 9

Publication date30/09/1998
Publication date online08/04/2002
Publisher URL…0305440397902235

People (2)


Professor Donald Davidson

Professor Donald Davidson

Emeritus Professor, Biological and Environmental Sciences

Professor Andrew Tyler

Professor Andrew Tyler

Scotland Hydro Nation Chair, Biological and Environmental Sciences