Risk assessment of archaeological heritage at territorial scale the case of İzmir metropolitan area

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2014
Yıldırım Esen, Sibel
Archaeological heritage has been increasingly facing severe threats such as urbanization, infrastructure development, mass tourism, illicit digging, earthquakes, floods, and many others. As most of the risks deriving from natural and human factors affect large areas and aggregates of sites, archaeological heritage can be conserved only if it is managed at territorial scale based on priorities and through effective risk management strategies. Accordingly, a thorough assessment of factors contributing to the existence and levels of risks is the key for effective conservation and management of archaeological heritage. Hence, this thesis aims at developing a comprehensive methodology for risk assessment of archeological heritage at territorial scale. Following a qualitative assessment approach, and referring to the concepts of other disciplinary fields, this study defines the analytical framework, essential vi data, main procedure, and analysis tools for risk assessment. The proposed risk assessment methodology, which utilizes the Geographical Information Systems, includes the stages of identifying, categorizing and mapping natural, institutional and individual-induced hazards, assessing vulnerabilities to these hazards through physical, institutional and social indicators; and evaluating levels of risks and generating risk maps through thematic mapping. Besides, following the proposed methodology, a system is developed for the Assessment of Risks at Territorial Scale (ARTS) for archaeological heritage located in the Izmir Metropolitan Area, Turkey. Through this system, the levels of vulnerabilities and risks are identified and risk maps of archaeological sites are prepared. Successively, addressing present decision-making mechanisms in Turkey, integration of the system into existing archaeological heritage management system is proposed. As risk assessment is based on collecting and processing extensive amount of quantitative, qualitative and spatial data, the methodology can be developed further parallel to the researches and development of databases regarding natural and human-induced hazards and factors affecting vulnerabilities of archaeological assets.