American University of Beirut

CLIMA Poject


CLIMA project aims to promote a highly interdisciplinary research, based on a soil oriented approach, to develop effective tools for the authorities responsible for cultural landscape preservation. The main aim of the CLIMA project is to design and implement a Web GIS based multi-task platform that integrates different remote sensing technologies, which can ensure, on a spatial scale, both macro and micro levels, the mapping, diagnostic, and monitoring purpose of cultural landscapes including buried and exposed archaeological remains. Europe has rich and diverse cultural heritage resources, which include landscapes and landscape elements, comprising standing monuments, buried archaeological sites, artifacts and ecofacts. This cultural heritage, often characterized and enhanced by the presence of exposed and buried archaeological remains, is nowadays at risk, endangered by environmental processes and anthropogenic pressures as more specifically by intensive agriculture activities and climate change. These pressures pose a range of immediate and future threats to these sensitive cultural landscapes and the historical, archaeological, and environmental archives they preserve. Over the last decade, attempts have been made to identify the main threats from climate change, including the threats on soils and historical and archaeological remains that characterise the European cultural landscape. In particular, the extreme weather phenomena can help to amplify the processes of soil erosion caused by agricultural activities. Moreover, hydrogeological disturbance of soil, due to climate changes, can threaten historic buildings and their stability. Monitoring oil processes and land use changes that can be produced by climate changes (environmental pressures) and agricultural activities (anthropogenic pressures) and at the same time, monitoring structures stability can therefore help to prevent damages to our buried and exposed archaeological heritage.

Specifically the CLIMA project aims to design and develop a multi-task platform, combining advanced remote sensing technologies, from satellite and ground-based, with GIS application for mapping and monitoring of cultural landscapes with buried and exposed archaeological remains. This will be achieved by interweaving archaeological and geo-archaeological expertise related to knowledge and protection of archaeological cultural landscapes with experts of soil processes, land use and climate change and experts of satellite and ground-based remote sensing.The platform will provide specific products (e.g., periodic vulnerability and warning maps) to allow the authorities in charge of cultural landscape preservation to implement more effective maintenance plans and actions.

Case study: Nea Paphos
Greek-Roman town founded at the end of 4th Century BC, situated on a small promontory on the southwest coast of the Cyprus island. A large area of the archaeological park is still not excavated with many buried structures. UNESCO World Heritage Monument.

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