You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Disasters’ category.

 
 
Models submerged in flood water at the Jorvik Viking Centre, York England
 
Most people living in Britain will be only too aware of the floods that have hit the north west of the country over the last few days. The devastation has left thousands of people with wrecked homes and/or businesses and more damage is forecast with the arrival of Storm Frank which is due to sweep into the area tonight. Amongst the devastation there is at least one piece of good news. Although the Jorvik Viking Centre in York has been flooded all of its priceless artefacts have ben moved to safety at a higher level or elsewhere. The Independent reports –
 
York’s Jorvik Viking Centre has been closed for the first time in 32 years after the exhibition was submerged in 50cm of dirty floodwater. The city has been severely hit by flooding over the Christmas period. The water levels of the River Ouse and River Foss are now falling but nine severe flood warnings are still in place mostly around York.
 
Earlier, staff had removed important artefacts [from the Centre] and helped build a barricade to try to protect the centre from the flooding. In a statement, Sarah Maltby, director of attractions for York Archaeological Trust, which owns the centre, said: “When we first became aware of water leaking into the basement, we immediately transported all of the historic artefacts within Jorvik up to the first floor, and they have now been moved off-site to a safe location.”
 
More here.
   
 
Before and after images of Durbar Square, Kathmandu, Nepal
Image credit Solêtti
 
UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova, has –
 
…expressed her profound sympathy to the government and people of Nepal after the devastating earthquake that struck the country. “I wish to express my sincere condolences following the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal today, causing heavy loss of life and extensive damage, including to historic monuments and buildings of the Kathmandu Valley.
 
UNESCO stands ready to help Nepal reconstruct and strengthen its resilience, based on our strong partnership and shared conviction in the power of education, science and culture to empower people, to heal and restore confidence.” she added
 
More here.
 
The Heritage Trust also expresses its profound sympathy and sadness to the government and people of Nepal and hopes that when the human tragedy has been addressed attention will then turn to protecting and restoring Nepal’s tangible and unique cultural heritage.
 
 

Six students from De Montfort University take part in the Crytek Off the Map project. The project involved building a 3D representation of 17th century London before The Great Fire.

 
 
Glasgow’s internationally famous School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, and built at the end of the 19th – beginning of the 20th century, has been seriously damaged by a fire that appears to have started when a projector exploded in the basement of the art school at 12:30 today.
 
BBC News Glasgow & West Scotland reports here.
    
 
 
The Santa Maria by Adolf Gross (1873-1933)
 
BBC News Latin America & Caribbean reports yesterday on the possible discovery of the Santa Maria, the flagship of Christopher Columbus’s famed expedition of 1492 –
 
Barry Clifford [US underwater investigator] said evidence “strongly suggests” a ruin off Haiti’s north coast is the Santa Maria. Mr Clifford’s team has measured and taken photos of the wreck. He says he is working with the Haitian government to protect the site for a more detailed investigation.
 
The Santa Maria, along with the La Nina and La Pinta, were part of Columbus’s expedition in 1492, which explored islands in the Caribbean in an attempt to find a westward passage to Asia. The flagship was lost during the expedition, shortly before Columbus returned to Spain. “All the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’s famous flagship, the Santa Maria,” said Mr Clifford.
 
Full article here.
   
 
 
Caedmon’s Cross showing Christ, David, Abbess Hilda and the poet Caedmon in four panels
©
The Heritage Trust
 
This beautiful cross, carved  from Northumbrian sandstone in a semi-Celtic style, was erected in 1898 to commemorate Caedmon, England’s first recorded poet. The cross stands at the top of the 199 Steps (made famous by Bram Stoker’s reference to them in Dracula) and in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Whitby, North Yorkshire. The Cross however stands perilously close to the edge of East Cliff, part of which fell away on Thursday (see our feature below) and perhaps should now be moved elsewhere for safety.
 
Another cross, dating from the 14th century, presently stands near the entrance to Whitby Abbey; somewhere in this area would be the logical choice to relocate Caedmon’s Cross before it is too late.
 
 
 
The 199 Steps leading to St Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey
©
The Heritage Trust
 
The Heritage Trust urges the appropriate authorities to examine the stability of Caedmon’s Cross without delay as the surrounding area is obviously unsafe. Should the Cross fall it could not only shatter but might also cause injury, not to mention damage, to people or properties that lay in its path.
 
 
The Universiteit Leiden reports on 23 August that Professor Gina Barnes will give a special guest lecture on Disaster Archaeology in Japan. The lecture will take place on Friday, 14 September 2012 from 15.15-17.00 in Lipsius/147, Leiden Netherlands and is entitled –
 
TECTONIC ARCHAEOLOGY IN JAPAN
EARTHQUAKES AND VOLCANOES IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORD
 

Two new branches of archaeological research in Japan are Jishin Kokogaku (Earthquake Archaeology) and Kazanbai Kokogaku (Volcanic Ash Archaeology). Earthquake archaeology developed simultaneously, but in a quite different way, from Mediterranean archaeoseismology, whose differences will be explored in this lecture. The dating and use of marker tephra across the Japanese Islands have given rise to Volcanic Ash Archaeology, which played a leading role in the Palaeolithic Scandal of November 2000. The correlation of historical records of volcanic eruptions with archaeological data will be examined in the context of Disaster Archaeology.

More here.

 

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