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Evolving spaces: coastal landscapes of the Neolithic in the European Land Ends


Coastal areas have been poles of population attraction since the early Prehistory. Today, in a context where sea-level rise is threatening significant amounts of territories across the European Atlantic Façade, understanding coastal landscapes has become a crucial topic. This concern operates at the local, national and international levels, as different organisations and research calls have stressed in the last few years. The role social sciences may play in building solutions to this problem is underestimated, and archaeological research must contribute to both the understanding of long-term coastal dynamics and the management strategies within these areas. In order to fulfil this double perspective the present project implements a coupled approach: one of basic research, one of heritage management. It is summarised in two basic objectives:
1. Contributing, through the multidisciplinary and trans-regional analysis of the archaeological evidence, to the understanding of coastal landscape construction and dynamics from the Middle Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age in Western Europe (c. 4500-2200 BC).
2. Assessing vulnerability of the coastal archaeological heritage and providing tools for its management.
To reach the Objective 1 the megalithic architectures will be the primary reference source. Their immanence makes them highly appropriate to retrace the way landscapes have been connoted and have evolved around them. To reach the Objective 2 the research program will integrate and improve the research perspective on vulnerability assessment initiated by the candidate.
Fieldwork research and Geographical Information Technologies will be the main methodologies in use.
Three major regions have been chosen for this research, which correspond to some of the westernmost areas of Europe: the Cornwall peninsula and the Scilly archipelago (UK), the NW Finistère (France) and the coastal area between Barbanza and Morrazo peninsulas (NW Spain).

Fields of science

Call for proposal

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Stockton Road The Palatine Centre
DH1 3LE Durham
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 309 235,20
Administrative Contact
Wendy Harle (Ms.)