Call for papers for papers for the journal Méditerranée : “Littoral Landscapes: Evolution and Risk of Erosion of Heritage”

Call for papers for a special issue of the journal Méditerranée entitled “Coastal landscapes: evolution and risk of heritage erosion” (issue coordinators: Benoît Devillers, Pau Olmos Benlloch and Père Castanyer).

One of the forgotten planning policies related to the current retreat of the shorelines is the erosion of the natural, archaeological and geomorphological Heritage. At the European scale, several initiatives have highlighted the vulnerability of heritage to the effects of climate change and human pressure. The conservation and mediation of this fragile heritage are actual challenges. The protection of the archaeological heritage of the coastal area is lagging far behind marine and especially continental areas. The reasons are many: difficulty of excavations, high erosion rate, lack of definition of administrative skills and very strong land pressure.

Currently, several European research teams are working on coastal erosion and archaeological heritage, particularly on the Atlantic seaboard: ALeRT project (UMR 6566 CReAAH Rennes); Litaq (Ausonius, Bordeaux); SCHARP (University of Saint Andrews, Scotland); CITiZAN (Museum of London Archeology, England); Bregantia (INCIPIT, Galicia, Spain); MASC project (Institute of Technology Sligo, Ireland). The main results were presented at international conferences such as the Homer symposium (Vannes, Brittany, 2011), the Weather Beaten Archeology (Sligo, Ireland, 2015) conferences or during specific sessions in the symposium of the European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) (Helsinki, 2012 and Glasgow, 2015) or Landscape Archeology Conference (Uppsala, 2016).

The various works carried out in the Atlantic facade show the need for projects to inventory and monitor site erosion. Storm episodes in recent years (2010, 2014) have accelerated the process of destruction and discovery of archaeological sites. In the Mediterranean, the situation is different, the climatic events are less violent, but there is a slow and gradual erosion, particularly in relation with the urbanization of the coasts. However, there are exceptions where sea-level rise, over-spells and anthropogenic pressure are accelerating the process of coastal erosion and destruction of archaeological heritage, as is the case of Kerkennah archipelago in Tunisia.

On the east and central Mediterranean coast, other initiatives have emerged, notably the project “Noé cartodata: carte de risque du patrimoine” (2006-2010) which aimed at developing a reflection on the protection of cultural heritage in the face of natural hazards. More recently, the European project CLIMA (Cultural Landscape Risk Identification Management Assessment) has taken up this issue on the analysis of soil erosion processes and archaeological remains. While these projects are mainly oriented towards monumental heritage, they have a similar basis to projects that focus on the archaeological heritage of the western Mediterranean coast.

The call for papers concerns two main themes

1 – Coastal paleo-landscapes: a heritage to reveal

Recent studies are changing the vision of coastal history from their archaeological and geomorphological points of view. This issue is an opportunity to present new research that is distinguished by their acuteness of restitution of these landscapes or by the innovative contributions to the coastal evolution knowledge, whether from geoarchaeological or archaeological points of view. In the end, the data produced constitutes a heritage that can lead to valorization through a mediation process. From the geological and geomorphological studies in progress on the littoral they can also integrate research and management’s tools of the littoral territory.

2 – Inventory and protection of coastal memory

The second objective is the sharing of the state of the art of the erosion of the coastal heritage as well as the sharing of the methods of work concerning its valuation or preservation. We propose to publish the feedback of experiences in participatory sciences and social tools on this theme. The ultimate goal is to highlight the potential of this type of initiative in the face of weak policy action.

Please pay particular attention to the Recommendations to Authors (

Information required

Title of the proposal :

Author(s) (if several authors, underline the corresponding author) :

Address of corresponding author :

Résumé and Abstract (250 words maximum) :

Mots-clefs and Key-words (5 maximum) :

Geographical index


Benoît Devillers, UPV-UMR 5140, Archéologie des sociétés méditerranéennes, Montpellier,

Pau Olmos Benlloch, Institut Català d’Arqueologia Clàssica, Tarragona, Cataluña, España,

Père Castanyer Masoliver, Museu d’Arqueologia de Catalunya-Empúries, L’Escala, Cataluña, España,


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