Endangered cultural heritage on the seafloor: Underwater archaeology within the North and Baltic Seas

Endangered cultural heritage on the seafloor: Underwater archaeology in the North and Baltic Seas

In lots of areas of the world, the seafloor comprises an enchanting archive of human historical past. This additionally applies to the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The German Nationwide Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has launched the dialogue paper Traces underneath Water – Exploring and Defending the Cultural Heritage within the North Sea and Baltic Sea to boost consciousness of the worth of the cultural heritage discovered within the depths of the North Sea and Baltic Sea. The paper’s authors describe the significance of this heritage and advocate measures for successfully defending it.
Endangered cultural heritage on the seafloor: Underwater archaeology in the North and Baltic Seas

Credit score: Sarah Katharina Heuzeroth

The authors of the publication illustrate the profound significance of the cultural heritage within the North Sea and Baltic Sea for archaeological analysis in Germany and the opposite states bordering the 2 seas. In accordance with the authors, in Germany, the underwater cultural heritage has been explored a lot lower than that on land.

On the identical time, there may be numerous strain to economically exploit the seas and the seafloors – a development that’s solely anticipated to extend. Thus, two major aims are specified by the dialogue paper. 

Firstly, the investigations of the cultural heritage within the North Sea and Baltic Sea must be complete and be carried out to the identical excessive scientific normal as these on land. Secondly, Germany ought to set up protecting measures in its unique financial zone that are simply as efficient as these which have lengthy been in impact on land. 

The authors’ really useful measures for shielding the underwater cultural heritage and bolstering underwater archaeology embody:

Science: Analysis and training within the comparatively younger discipline of underwater archaeology must be expanded, and the analysis carried out in states bordering the North and Baltic Seas must be coordinated. The authors advocate establishing a detailed collaboration between marine, geological and archaeological analysis.

Politics and economic system: Cooperation between scientific establishments and the authorities must be strengthened, and nearer cooperation between science and enterprise pursued. There must be extra publicity selling data concerning the cultural heritage discovered on the backside of the North Sea and Baltic Sea. State museums, maritime and naval museums, in addition to metropolis museums and geoparks ought to play an necessary position at disseminating this info.

Regulation: Germany ought to ratify the 2001 UNESCO Conference on the Safety of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and set up a specialist authority geared up with the suitable competences. The implementation of the Valletta Conference within the unique financial zone and on the continental shelf ought to turn out to be extra constant.

Administration: Archaeological consultants must be included in all spatial and technical planning. Moreover, the German Act on the Evaluation of Environmental Impacts must be modified to bear in mind proof of early humanity and the setting current at the moment (as an illustration plant stays). Archaeological requirements must be developed and built-in in all procedures authorising the intrusion in marine habitats or their use for financial functions.

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