Archaeological heritage in forested areas – challenges, problems and solutions
Rafał Zapłata  1@  , Stereńczak Krzysztof  2, *@  
1 : Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw / Uniwersytet Kardynała Stefana Wyszyńskiego w Warszawie  (CSWU / UKSW)  -  Site web
Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University in Warsawul. Dewajtis 5, 01-815 Warszawa -  Pologne
2 : Forest Research Institute / Instytut Badawczy Leśnictwa  (FRI / IBL)  -  Site web
Sękocin Stary, ul. Braci Leśnej nr 3 05-090 Raszyn -  Pologne
* : Auteur correspondant

The presentation is meant as a springboard for a discussion on the issue of archaeological finds in forested areas, with regard to the situation in Poland. Firstly, the issue of identifying cultural heritage in forested areas will be discussed, with a particular emphasis on the role and significance of the latest non-invasive technologies, especially laser scanning (LiDAR). Another element of the presentation is the issue of protecting cultural and environmental heritage, therefore, the issue requiring an interdisciplinary approach, the necessity to work out optimal solutions recognising, at the same time, the two aforementioned groups of historic objects that require integrated activities, as well as large-scale and long-term strategies.

The paper is aimed at showing the specificity (diversity of its usage) of the forest environment, which affects the state and preservation of historic objects, while creating specific conditions for identifying, researching, protecting and managing, as well as exhibiting archaeological heritage. Those characteristics and knowledge about the situation are e.g. the basis for working out mechanisms to prevent destruction of monuments and emerging threats. The subjects of discussion will be e.g. contemporary actions of man influencing the condition and preservation of historic objects, as well as natural processes threatening both cultural and natural resources.

Examples of current activity will be presented by referring to the work that is being / has been realised, using the experience gained from scientific projects or institutional activities in Poland. Discussing the title challenges and solutions will be presented on the examples of areas constituting both utility forests and protected zones, including National Parks. This part of the paper will recall the good practice and experience illustrating the already implemented procedures which meet the contemporary needs and challenges posed by the identification and protection of archaeological objects. 

The analysis of the situation in Poland clearly shows a gradual increase of identified (extremely numerous) historic objects in recent years, especially thanks to data from ALS-LIDAR, which poses a serious challenge for land owners and managers of forested areas in Poland, as well as for the scientific-conservation milieu. The scale of identification has already generated questions and discussions concerning: forms of protection cultural heritage, its diversity in reference to the state of preservation and character of objects, but also changes in the development – the use of some forested areas in Poland.

The paper ends in a summary, with final conclusions and research-conservation demands, which constitute the next stage in the process of working out mechanisms and identification-protection procedures for cultural (archaeological) heritage in forested areas in Poland. The whole is directed towards “preventive activities to save archaeological objects in forested areas” and answering the question – how to effectively and optimally identify, examine, protect, manage and present historic heritage in forested areas. The paper is aimed at presenting a (currently modified) integrated concept of protecting the cultural and natural heritage, with emphasis on the research, protection, management and popularization of archaeological heritage in forested areas.

The presentation fits in with tasks related to “Inventorying cultural heritage“, which are carried out within the assignment commissioned by the State Treasury – the State Forests National Forest Holding - General Forest Management.


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