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Work package 1: Studies of sites and artefact degradation
The purpose of WP 1 is to investigate processes that affect/controls the preservation of sites and the decay of buried artefacts.
Documenting the history of sites is a prerequisite for understanding their current state of preservation. Site formation processes and recent changes will be identified by studying reports from previous archaeological surveys and by using historical photos.
Small archaeological excavations (test profiles) will be made at each study site in order to evaluate the present state of preservation and to collect soil samples and artefacts to be used in decay studies. The current preservation conditions will be evaluated at each site and potential threats will be identified. This will be achieved through field investigations of erosion, vegetation cover, root penetration and measurements of depth to permafrost, soil water content, soil oxygen content, soil porosity and soil chemistry.
Environmental monitoring will be established at three sites in order to understand the present environment and to study seasonal and year to year variations. The monitoring will include meteorological conditions, snow cover, vegetation cover, soil temperatures and water contents. The data will be used to study site/material degradation and the gained know-how will be used to develop a strategy for future environmental monitoring.