Scotland's Eroding Heritage: A Collaborative Response to the Impact of Climate Change

Elinor Louise Graham, Tom Dawson, Joanna Hambly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scotland is a maritime nation, with a coastline 18,670km long (Angus et al. 2011) and a largely inaccessible mountainous hinterland. Settlement has therefore historically been concentrated on the coast, offering such benefits as proximity to marine resources and materials washed up or exposed on beaches, access to transport and trade routes by boat and, in many locations, the best agricultural land (The James Hutton Institute 2013). This has bequeathed a rich and diverse archaeological resource, concentrated along the coastline and representing all periods from the Mesolithic to the Second World War. In addition to occupation sites, religious and funerary monuments and defensive structures found at the coast, the importance of the sea and seafaring to the country is eloquently demonstrated by the remains of economic and maritime activity, industry and coastal infrastructure. Sites such as kelp kilns, harbours, coal mines, fishing stations and even the remains of the vessels which once plied the waters can be found around the coast, particularly in the firths and sheltered estuaries which offered protection from the open sea.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-158
Number of pages18
JournalArchaeological Review from Cambridge
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Nov 2017


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