Looting and Climate Change Threaten Mongolia's Archaeology and Cultural Heritage
The illegal looting of archaeological sites and shifting climate norms are not new phenomena in Mongolia, as in much of the world. However, there is increasing evidence that both are having an effect on Mongolian archaeological sites and cultural heritage at unprecedented levels. The impacts of looting and climate change on archaeological remains are complex and interwoven without easy solutions that can be applied to every case. Properly addressing sites endangered by these issues demand a variety of skill sets in community engagement, law enforcement and legal protocols, field conservation, and more. This presentation will discuss the impacts of climate change and looting on the archaeology of Mongolia today, as well as steps being taken to protect Mongolia’s priceless cultural heritage from these threats.
Julia K. Clark is an anthropological archaeologist whose research focuses on human-environment relationships in Mongolia and the Eurasian Steppe. Based in Ulaanbaatar, she is the founding director of NOMAD Science archaeology project and field school, and a coordinator at the American Center for Mongolian Studies. Dr. Clark holds a post-doctoral Fellowship and Adjunct Professorship at Flinders University, Adelaide. She is a research associate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh where she completed her PhD in 2014.