Sew La Ti Embroidery + [USA]

North America: Archaeologists say climate change is destroying Arctic artefacts
Archaeologists say climate change is destroying the historical record of the Arctic people. The artefacts being received by the University of Alaska Fairbanks’s Museum of the North are more deteriorated than those unearthed decades ago, curator and professor Josh Reuther told KUAC, and he attributes that to the changing climate.

Archaeologists say climate change is destroying Arctic artefacts
A wooden mask recovered from the Nunalleq archaeological site
 in western Alaska [Credit: University of Aberdeen]

The problem isn’t just being noticed by academics in museums — archaeologists have seen changes in the field.

“It’s kind of a whole series of problems coming together at the same time to sort of create a perfect storm,” said Max Friesen, a University of Toronto archaeologist working on a dig in Canada’s Northwest Territories.

Archaeologists say climate change is destroying Arctic artefacts
From left, UA Museum of the North Archaeology Curator Josh Reuther and Kaktovik 
resident Marie Rexford examine ivory and bone artifacts in the Barter Island collection 
[Credit: Kelsey Gobroski/UA Museum of the North]

“You have the potential melting of the permafrost, you have sea level rise, you have in some cases changing weather patterns.”

Friesen said he’s alarmed by the rapid deterioration. Until recently, he said, organic artefacts made of materials like wood or animal hides, were abundant around the region because they were preserved by permafrost or silty soils.

“It’s a very rich data base that’s being lost all across the Arctic,” he said.

Source: Associated Press [June 14, 2015]