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Title: Foreword
Other Titles: Temple landscapes : fragility, change and resilience of Holocene environments in the Maltese Islands
Authors: Pace, Anthony
Keywords: Sustainability -- Malta
Sustainable development -- Malta
Natural history projects -- Malta
Archaeology -- Research -- Malta
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
Citation: Pace, A. (2020). Foreword. In: C. French, C. O. Hunt, R. Grima, R. McLaughlin, S. Stoddart & C. Malone, Temple landscapes : fragility, change and resilience of Holocene environments in the Maltese Islands. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research. xxiii-xxiv.
Abstract: Sustainability, as applied in archaeological research and heritage management, provides a useful perspective for understanding the past as well as the modern conditions of archaeological sites themselves. As often happens in archaeological thought, the idea of sustainability was borrowed from other areas of concern, particularly from the modern construct of development and its bearing on the environment and resource exploitation. The term sustainability entered common usage as a result of the unstoppable surge in resource exploitation, economic development, demographic growth and the human impacts on the environment that has gripped the World since 1500. Irrespective of scale and technology, most human activity of an economic nature has not spared resources from impacts, transformations or loss irrespective of historical and geographic contexts. Theories of sustainability may provide new narratives on the archaeology of Malta and Gozo, but they are equally important and of central relevance to contemporary issues of cultural heritage conservation and care. Though the archaeological resources of the Maltese islands can throw light on the past, one has to recognize that such resources are limited, finite and non-renewable. The sense of urgency with which these resources have to be identified, listed, studied, archived and valued is akin to that same urgency with which objects of value and all fragile forms of natural and cultural resources require constant stewardship and protection. The idea of sustainability therefore, follows a common thread across millennia. [excerpt]
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