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. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440397902235; https://doi.org/10.1006/jasc.1997.0223
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