Date:

Libyan archaeological sites in danger due to coastal erosion

A study published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, reveals that  escalating coastal erosion poses a threat to the preservation of archaeological sites located along the Libyan shoreline.

Eastern Libya’s Cyrenaican coast, spanning from the Gulf of Sirte to the current border between Libya and Egypt, boasts a rich history of human habitation dating back to the Palaeolithic era. As a result, it is home to a multitude of significant archaeological sites, many of which have yet to be thoroughly studied.

- Advertisement -

Nonetheless, the coast is subject to frequent and severe erosion, posing a threat to the preservation of these invaluable sites. Although comprehensive evaluations of coastal erosion and the susceptibility of archaeological sites have been conducted for other notable shorelines, such investigations are yet to be conducted for this region.

By employing a combination of historical and contemporary data sources such as aerial and satellite imagery and on-site observations, this research analysed erosion patterns along the Cyrenaican coast, specifically in close proximity to significant archaeological sites.

The team’s investigation revealed that the areas surrounding Apollonia, Ptolemais, and Tocra are undergoing severe shoreline erosion, with the rate of erosion progressively intensifying in recent years. Such degradation is believed to be a result of human actions such as urbanisation and sand mining.

The study demonstrated that the current rates of coastal erosion are already a significant concern for these archaeological sites, and that these rates are expected to escalate in the future due to rising sea levels brought on by climate change and additional human activities. As a consequence, these sites are in danger of gradual damage and the loss of invaluable historical information.

- Advertisement -

According to the paper authors: “The impact of erosion here is considerable and could get worse in the future. Our research highlights the critical need to support our Libyan colleagues in mitigating the damage to these endangered and irreplaceable heritage sites.”


PLOS ONE

https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0283703

Header Image Credit : Saad Buyadem, CC-BY 4.0

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Excavation uncovers traces of the first bishop’s palace at Merseburg Cathedral Hill

Archaeologists from the State Office for Monument Preservation and Archaeology (LDA) Saxony-Anhalt have uncovered traces of the first bishop’s palace at the southern end of the Merseburg Cathedral Hill in Merseburg, Germany.

BU archaeologists uncover Iron Age victim of human sacrifice

Archaeologists from Bournemouth University have uncovered an Iron Age victim of human sacrifice in Dorset, England.

Archaeologists find ancient papyri with correspondence made by Roman centurions

Archaeologists from the University of Wrocław have uncovered ancient papyri that contains the correspondence of Roman centurions who were stationed in Egypt.

Study indicates that Firth promontory could be an ancient crannog

A study by students from the University of the Highlands and Islands has revealed that a promontory in the Loch of Wasdale in Firth, Orkney, could be the remains of an ancient crannog.

Archaeologists identify the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II

Archaeologists from Sorbonne University have identified the original sarcophagus of Ramesses II, otherwise known as Ramesses the Great.

Archaeologists find missing head of Deva from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom

Archaeologists from Cambodia’s national heritage authority (APSARA) have discovered the long-lost missing head of a Deva statue from the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom.

Archaeologists search crash site of WWII B-17 for lost pilot

Archaeologists from Cotswold Archaeology are excavating the crash site of a WWII B-17 Flying Fortress in an English woodland.

Roman Era tomb found guarded by carved bull heads

Archaeologists excavating at the ancient Tharsa necropolis have uncovered a Roman Era tomb guarded by two carved bull heads.