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Durham University

Department of Archaeology

Research Postgraduates

Publication details for Mr Peter Brown

Brown, P. J. (2015). Coasts of catastrophe? The incidence and impact of aeolian sand on British medieval coastal communities. European journal of Post-Classical Archaeologies 5: 127-148.

Author(s) from Durham


Natural hazards exert a considerable influence on vulnerable populations living in riskprone
areas. Archaeological and historical evidence offers a unique perspective from
which to explore this relationship. This paper examines the hazard of wind-blown sand in
relation to British medieval coastal communities focussing in particular on the factors influencing
inundations of sand in addition to the material and spiritual reactions adopted in
the face of aeolian sand. By contextualizing past discoveries, new light can be shed on
these human/environment interactions while simultaneously exploring wider implications
for the underlying climatic changes of the Little Ice Age across Europe.