Prof Heather Viles at IW Cafe Scientifique - Science and conservation in Cultural heritage

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Prof Heather Viles at IW Cafe Scientifique - Science and conservation in Cultural heritage

  1. 1. Science and conservation From ancient monuments to wilderness landscapesProf Heather Viles, University of Oxford
  2. 2. Synopsis• Conserving our heritage• Bioconservation – What can science contribute?• Geoconservation – What can science contribute?• Cultural heritage conservation – What can science contribute?• Integrating heritage conservation
  3. 3. Cultural heritage - material (monuments, buildings, sites) and intangible Mixed heritage - cultural landscapes, cultural routes Natural heritage - biological and ‘earth’Heritage conservation
  4. 4. Great Wall of China Acacus rock art, Libya Image credit: Luco GaluzziSt Catherine’s VeniceMonastery, Egypt Colossi of Memnon, Egypt
  5. 5. Aldabra Atoll, Seychelles Lulworth Cove, Dorset, England Guilin Karst, ChinaWadden Sea (Wattenmeer),Germany and the Netherlands Surtsey, Iceland
  6. 6. St Kilda, UK Drakensberg Mountains, South Africa Image credit: Sea HarrisMachu Picchu, Peru Cappadocia, Turke y
  7. 7. Evidential value For interpreting the past Historical value For connecting with the past Aesthetic value For the enjoyment of beauty Communal value For meanings and identities Economic value Questions ofWhy conserve heritage? value
  8. 8. Natural processes and changes Gradual change Extreme events Human impacts Pollution (air/water/land) Abandonment, neglect, changing use Bad management and restoration War Identifying theWhy conserve heritage? major external threats
  9. 9. 38 WHS ‘in danger’ in 2012 Abu Mena, Egypt Galapagos Islands Image credit: Jacques Descloitres, MODIS, NASA Bamiyan, AfghanistanBelize barrier reefImage credit: Landsat NASA Image credit: Nebedaay Image credit: UNESCO
  10. 10. Heritage science http://www.heritagescience.ac.uk/http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/nhss/server/show/nav.19891
  11. 11. Landscape as an integrating concept Human impacts Culture Biology ecology BiogeomorphologyCulturallandscapes Geomorphology geology
  12. 12. • Identification of species, sites and habitats requiring conservation• Establishment of the natural ‘baseline’ – what are we working toward conserving?• How to conserve – application of ecological theories (e.g. Norman Myers’ ‘hotspots’)• Monitoring the success of conservation schemesRole of science in Mainly ecologistsbioconservation and biogeographers
  13. 13. • Identification of species, sites and habitats requiring conservation• Establishment of the natural ‘baseline’ – what are we working toward conserving?• How to conserve – application of ecological theories (e.g. Norman Myers’ ‘hotspots’)• Monitoring the success of conservation schemesRole of science in Mainly ecologistsbioconservation and biogeographers
  14. 14. ALDABRA ATOLL, INDIAN OCEAN
  15. 15. Aldabra Atoll: a World Heritage Site andecological ‘natural laboratory’ Aldabrachelys gigantea – the Aldabran giant tortoise
  16. 16. What WAS I doing?
  17. 17. • Identification of species, sites and habitats requiring conservation• Establishment of the natural ‘baseline’ – what are we working toward conserving?• How to conserve – application of ecological theories (e.g. Norman Myers’ ‘hotspots’)• Monitoring the success of conservation schemesRole of science in Mainly ecologistsbioconservation and biogeographers
  18. 18. NAMIB DESERT, NAMIBIA
  19. 19. Lichen fields – biodiversity andsurface stabilization See: Lalley and Viles 2008 Biodiversity 100m and Conservation, 17, 1-20
  20. 20. • Identification of landforms, sites and geomorphic systems worthy of conservation• Understanding the dynamics of conserved areas (development over time, functioning today)• Aiding management in the face of threats such as climate change• Interpretation/ public understandingRole of science in Mainly geologists &geoconservation geomorphologists
  21. 21. • Identification of landforms, sites and geomorphic systems worthy of conservation• Understanding the dynamics of conserved areas (development over time, functioning today)• Aiding management in the face of threats such as climate change• Interpretation/ public understandingRole of science in Mainly geologists &geoconservation geomorphologists
  22. 22. ZHANGJIAJIE GEOPARK, CHINA
  23. 23. What’s in a name? International Workshop onZhangjiajie Geomorphology 2010
  24. 24. See also: Brierley etal., 2011 ESPL, 36, 1981-1984
  25. 25. • Identification of landforms, sites and geomorphic systems worthy of conservation• Understanding the dynamics of conserved areas (development over time, functioning today)• Aiding management in the face of threats such as climate change• Interpretation/ public understandingRole of science in Mainly geologists &geoconservation geomorphologists
  26. 26. Giant’s Causeway, N Ireland: Dynamic landscape See: Smith et al, 2010 Geoheritage
  27. 27. • Understanding site and environmental context of cultural heritage• Prospecting/ survey for archaeological sites• Understanding deterioration• Identifying ‘hotspots’ at risk from environmental threats• Applying geomorphic theory to conservationScience and cultural heritageconservation
  28. 28. • Understanding site and environmental context of cultural heritage• Prospecting/ survey for archaeological sites• Understanding deterioration• Identifying ‘hotspots’ at risk from environmental threats• Applying geomorphic theory to conservationScience and cultural heritageconservation
  29. 29. ACACUS MTS AND MESSAK SETTAFET, LIBYA
  30. 30. Libyan rock art: Geological and geomorphological settings
  31. 31. Rock art research team
  32. 32. Monitoring colour, hardness andmicroclimate at rock art sites
  33. 33. • Understanding site and environmental context of cultural heritage• Prospecting/ survey for archaeological sites• Understanding deterioration• Identifying ‘hotspots’ at risk from environmental threats• Applying geomorphic theory to conservationScience and cultural heritageconservation
  34. 34. GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA
  35. 35. Fading heritage? Understanding rock art deterioration
  36. 36. Golden GateHighlands, South Africa Badly deteriorating rock art
  37. 37. Viles et al., (2010) ESPL; Mol and Viles (2010) Geomorphology Monitoring micro-climate, rock hardness and internal moisture regimes
  38. 38. Integrating heritage conservation: Roles of science Angkor Wat, Cambo dia Image credit: Dave’sTravelCornerRathbarry, Ireland
  39. 39. Green ruins: Developing newconservation methods
  40. 40. Can soft capping help conserve ruinedwalls?
  41. 41. 16 15cm + slate 15cm 14 10cm + slate 10cm 12 5cm + slate 5cm 10 Hard cap 8 November 2005 Bylanddeg C 6 Abbey 4 2 0 01/11/2005 06/11/2005 11/11/2005 16/11/2005 21/11/2005 26/11/2005 01/12/2005 00:00 -2 00:00 00:00 00:00 00:00 00:00 00:00 -4
  42. 42. See also:Viles & Wood, 2007, Geol Soc Spec Pub 271, 309-322Lee et al 2009 English Heritage Research Reporthttp://www.geog.ox.ac.uk/research/arid-environments/rubble/swc/resources.html

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