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Heritage: Permafrost thaw threatens Arctic archaeological sites
Climate change is threatening archaeological sites in N.W.T.'s Mackenzie Delta, says University of Toronto professor Max Friesen.

Permafrost thaw threatens Arctic archaeological sites
Pingos in N.W.T.'s Mackenzie Delta are unmistakeable evidence of permafrost activity 
in the soil. University of Toronto professor Max Friesen says thawing permafrost 
due to climate change is endangering archaeological sites in the area 
[Credit: Karen McColl]

He says thawing permafrost is endangering sites and artifacts dating back thousands of years.

"Instead of having the archaeological remains and the houses and whatnot being stable, they're actually eroding out of the cliff face," he said.

"As you walk along the beach, you can actually see all the artifacts, animal bones, and even pieces of houses that are slumping down the slope and will eventually wash out into the ocean."

Friesen says researchers need to act quickly and prioritize which sites should be excavated before their contents are destroyed.

Source: CBC News [April 13, 2015]