Long-Term Research and Cultural Resource Management Strategies in Light of Climate Change and Human Impact

Hans Peter Blankholm


This paper discusses challenges facing archaeologists and archaeology remains at the “Tops of the World,” the Arctic, Subarctic, and Subantarctic regions of the globe, in light of climate change and human activities. One set of challenges includes climate change with rising sea levels, flood levels, decreasing permafrost, wind erosion, and tree re-growth. Another set includes increasing demographic and economic expansion with concurrent pollution, oil and mineral exploitation, and development of hydroelectricity, aquaculture, and tourism in the regions. The real and probable impacts and consequences of those factors on the archaeology—both generally and regionally—at the Tops of the World are outlined, leading to a discussion of how long-term research, cultural resource management, and educational strategies can be developed to deal with them.

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