Coastal archaeological sites have always been vulnerable to erosion. In recent years this vulnerability has become a contentious issue when a variety of archaeological sites across Northern Europe were impacted by the winter storms of 2013-14. Stone forts fell into the sea. Castles crumbled to the ground. Shipwrecks, middens, timber trackways and ancient drowned forests were revealed for the first time in centuries. Heritage venues were flooded and a large number of archaeological sites were washed away entirely.
The annual winter storms now regularly require rescue work by governments and archaeologists, allow chance finds by members of the public and have necessitated the creation of citizen science schemes to report vulnerable / newly discovered sites.
The Weather Beaten Archaeology Conference is the first of its kind and will establish a forum for the exchange of experiences of extreme weather events and their impact on archaeological sites.