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Climate change uncovers archaeological finds. Scientists are looking for ways to preserve them

The wreckage of a WWII German warship is seen in the Danube river near Prahovo, Serbia, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. The worst drought in Europe in decades has not only scorched farmland and hampered river traffic, it also has exposed a part of World War II history that had almost been forgotten. The hulks of dozens of German battleships have emerged from the mighty Danube River as its water levels dropped. (Darko Vojinovic/AP)
The wreckage of a WWII German warship is seen in the Danube river near Prahovo, Serbia, Monday, Aug. 29, 2022. The worst drought in Europe in decades has not only scorched farmland and hampered river traffic, it also has exposed a part of World War II history that had almost been forgotten. The hulks of dozens of German battleships have emerged from the mighty Danube River as its water levels dropped. (Darko Vojinovic/AP)

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As climate change amplifies severe weather, it’s also delivering something unexpected: archaeological finds. Droughts, for example, recently uncovered 113-million-year-old dinosaur tracks in Texas and World War II-era boats in Nevada.

The findings are exciting but bring challenges, including how to safely and quickly preserve and study them. And in some cases, whether it’s ethical to dig or move sensitive artifacts.

Last fall, we spoke to Sarah Parcak, an archaeologist and Egyptologist at the University of Alabama Birmingham, where she also directs the Laboratory of Global Exploration. Her team uses drones and satellites to look underground, earning her the nickname, ‘the space archaeologist.’ Parcak joins host Scott Tong to discuss her work.

 

 

This article was originally published on WBUR.org.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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