environmental damage

Easter Island Exhibition at Manchester Museum

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Ancient Worlds

Moai Hava and Sam in the World Museum in Liverpool Moai Hava and Sam in the World Museum in Liverpool

Since returning from the Ke EMu conference in Washington on Saturday I’ve been thinking about Manchester Museum’s next temporary exhibition which will be about the stone statues or moai of Rapa Nui or Easter Island. We are in the fortunate position of being able to borrow a statue called moai Hava from the British Museum, and a selection of supporting objects from the BM and other museums. The exhibition will draw upon the results of fieldwork on Easter Island undertaken by Professor Colin Richards of the University of Manchester’s Department of Archaeology. Our ‘Making Monuments on Rapa Nui: the Stone Statues of Easter Island’  exhibition will open in early April 2015 and run for four months in the Museum’s temporary exhibition gallery.

It is incredibly exciting to work with material from Easter Island, which must rank as some of the highest profile…

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Off the beaten track

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One of the qualities which attracts visitors to Iceland is its wilderness, and all that open space can tempt people into testing their driving skills and the capabilities of their cars.

Off-road tyre marks near Krafla
Off-road car tracks in volcanic sands near Krafla

Unfortunately, as Guðbjörg Gunnasdóttir (Manager of Snæfellsjókull National Park) explained to me, these are very fragile environments which are easily damaged and susceptible to erosion. Soils tend to be loose, vegetation is very fragile and water can be channelled along tracks increasing soil erosion.

Tracks can take decades to recover and so the Environment Agency of Iceland is trying to raise awareness of this issue so that everyone can experience Iceland’s raw beauty.

Old re-vegetated track near Krafla
Old re-vegetated track near Krafla
Leaflet warning of the consequences (environmental and criminal) of illegal off-road driving.
Leaflet warning of the consequences (environmental and criminal) of illegal off-road driving.

We have seen quite a lot of evidence of old trackways on the Icelandic landscape. The one below was from our first day on the Reykjanes peninsula, where the compacted soil had been colonised by different species to those found in across the surrounding marshland.