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What can lost underwater lands tell us about climate change?

Published: Fri 20 Jan 2017
What can lost underwater lands tell us about climate change?

Bradford archaeologists are leading a prestigious Royal Society meeting in May 2017, bringing together experts from across the globe to explore how lost underwater landscapes can shed new light on our approaches to climate change.

The Theo Murphy meeting, one of the Royal Society's flagship events, will include a keynote address from Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham.

Delegates from both historical and scientific disciplines will consider how the use of modern sampling technologies and data analysis can help us uncover new insights into populations who lived, farmed, and eventually fled from lands that were inundated following the end of the last Ice Age, 12,000 years ago.

Areas such as the 23,000 sq km stretch of land between Britain’s Norfolk coast and mainland Europe, known as Doggerland, are now being explored to extract unprecedented amounts of detailed information. There is a pressing need to bring together specialists working on these landscapes to consider the challenges and opportunities of this research.

Professor Vince Gaffney, Anniversary Chair in Landscape Archaeology at the University of Bradford, says: “These submerged landscapes are one of mankind’s last great challenges of exploration and have until recently been completely inaccessible to archaeologists. Modern technologies are now enabling archaeologists to map these vast areas, locate and core sites and extract new information about how past societies responded to huge environmental, cultural and technological change. In doing so they will yield new insights and issues within climate change debates.”

The meeting will take place on 15-16 May 2017, at Chichley Hall, Buckinghamshire. More information including a draft programme can be found on the Royal Society website.

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