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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10010185

The Race to Document Archaeological Sites Ahead of Rising Sea Levels: Recent Applications of Geospatial Technologies in the Archaeology of Polynesia

Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University, P.O. Box 750336, Dallas, TX 75275-0336, USA
Received: 22 December 2017 / Revised: 10 January 2018 / Accepted: 11 January 2018 / Published: 13 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geospatial Technologies for Sustainable Natural Resources)
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Abstract

Marine environments are rich in natural resources, and therefore, have been targeted for human occupation from at least the Pleistocene. In the modern day, the preservation and documentation of the physical archaeological evidence of human occupation and use of coasts, islands, and the ocean must now include mitigating the impacts of global climate change. Here, I review recent efforts to document archaeological sites across the islands of Polynesia using geospatial technology, specifically remote sensing, high-resolution documentation, and the creation of archaeological site geodatabases. I discuss these geospatial technologies in terms of planning for likely future impacts from sea level rise; a problem that will be felt across the region, and based on current evidence, will affect more than 12% of all known sites in New Zealand (Aotearoa). View Full-Text
Keywords: geospatial technologies; global environmental change; archaeology; Pacific Ocean geospatial technologies; global environmental change; archaeology; Pacific Ocean
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McCoy, M.D. The Race to Document Archaeological Sites Ahead of Rising Sea Levels: Recent Applications of Geospatial Technologies in the Archaeology of Polynesia. Sustainability 2018, 10, 185.

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