Widespread layers of well-preserved organically and archaeologically rich palaeosols dating to the Bronze Age and Iron Age are known from across the Atlantic seaboard of Scotland, including the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland. The survival of these soils has been facilitated by an overburden of Aeolian sand forming dunes above them. Whilst these soils display archaeological importance, they are constantly under threat from erosion through storm damage due to their exposed coastal position. This presents certain challenges with regard to heritage management, since their extents are largely unknown, normally only being identified when exposed by wind and storm erosion. Consequently, following such damage mitigation can only be reactionary in response to archaeological deposits being uncovered, and left open to threat, Without accurately mapping the extent of these important deposits, archaeological landscape management is compromised. This paper presents a case study aimed at enabling proactive management of these deposits through rapid three-dimensional mapping undertaken using a combination of borehole-calibrated GPR survey and GIS modelling. The results demonstrate how effective baseline data can be generated to highlight areas of greater or lesser risk thereby providing the potential for quantifying and predicting the effects of damage from future storm events. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Archaeological Science|
|Early online date||1 Jul 2009|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Oct 2009|
- Ground penetrating radar
- Heritage management
- Geographical information systems