Seminarium: On the Shoals of Giants: Caribbean and Pacific Perspectives on Climate Change, Cultural Heritage Management, and the Eradication of Island Archaeological Records

This seminar will discuss case studies from the Caribbean and Micronesia and the natural and cultural processes that have affected the preservation and integrity of archaeological sites on islands, many of which are located in low-lying coastal areas.

Given the position of the Caribbean lithospheric plate—juxtaposed between four others—it is no surprise that by its very nature the region is volcanically active and frequently associated with earthquake and tsunami events.

While Micronesia is largely immune from volcanism, the thousands of atolls that comprise this region are highly susceptible to sea level rise and associated problems relating to climate change.

The high frequency of tropical systems (hurricanes and storms) in these regions and rising sea level, coupled with human activities such as sand mining, development, and looting, makes these regions’ archaeological records some of the most vulnerable and threatened in the world.  

Bring your lunch sandwich and we provide coffee and tea.

-----------------------Professor Fitzpatrick’s Bio:---------------------------

Scott M. Fitzpatrick (PhD, 2003; University of Oregon) is Associate Director of the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oregon.

He is an archaeologist who specializes in the prehistory and historical ecology of island and coastal regions, particularly the Pacific and Caribbean. Much of his research has focused on prehistoric colonization events, seafaring strategies, adaptations to smaller islands, exchange systems, and human impacts on ancient environments. He has also researched and published extensively over the last 20 years on the Yapese quarrying and movement of stone money in Palau.

He has published several books and more than 120 journal articles and book chapters, much of it based on active field projects he has conducted in western Micronesia and the southern Caribbean. Dr. Fitzpatrick is the founding co-editor of the Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology (Routledge/Taylor & Francis), an Associate Editor for Archaeology in Oceania, and serves on the editorial boards for the Caribbean Journal of Science and Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports