New opportunities for understanding the ancient coastline

Friday 12:30pm, Room 1

Local community

(2b) Data users: Non-profit and public service

Georgia Marina Andreou 30min

Cornell University

Coastal erosion is a landscape alteration process that affects areas throughout the world. In terms of cultural heritage management, the erosion-induced loss of land is an obstacle to our still emerging understanding of ancient coastlines, maritime trade and human interaction. Although measures have been taken to quantify land-loss and protect actively eroding areas, a key question remains: how can we monitor the exposure of previously unknown archaeological sites in a time- and cost-effective manner?

This paper presents a project that incorporates crowdsourced data to monitor the exposure of ancient walls on the coastline of Cyprus. I first demonstrate how we used OpenStreetMap to develop a community-inclusive recording scheme, and subsequently how we trained local fishermen and recreational divers to collect geographical information from an area known for its aggravated erosion. The crowdsourced data have provided a more spatially-targeted study of vulnerable sites, and local communities have, through their daily practices, contributed to the protection of their cultural heritage.