Saturday, December 11, 2010

Archaeologists warn of climate threat

Yahoo! News

Mummies decaying in Siberia, pyramids vanishing under the sand in Sudan, Maya temples collapsing: climate change risks destroying countless treasures from our shared past, archaeologists warn. . . .

Sand is one of the worst enemies of archaeological sites, like in Sudan where dunes are encroaching on the burial pyramids of Meroe, the capital of a flourishing kingdom from the third century BC to the fourth AD.

"In Oman, two cyclones -- Gonu un 2007 and Phet last year -- totally buried in sand sites that date back to the fifth and sixth millennia BC," said Vincent Charpentier, of the INRAP archaeological research centre.

Michelet warns that UNESCO's efforts so far to identify at-risk sites do not go far enough, calling for the world to "sound the alert" over the threat.

"Archaeology is part of human memory," said Francfort, who suggests radical solutions may be needed to protect past treasures from climate change, citing the case of the Abu Simbel rock temples in Egypt.

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