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The Dark Geocultural Heritage of Volcanoes: Combining Cultural and Geoheritage Perspectives for Mutual Benefit

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It is now widely accepted that vulnerability to natural hazards is dependent on cultural and historical factors. Similarly, geoheritage cannot be readily disentangled from cultural values and cultural heritage. The assignment of value to a given geosite is conducted in the present, and many, if not most geosites, are also sites of culture-historical significance. Conversely, most tangible cultural heritage also contains elements of geoheritage. To merge aspects of geoheritage and of cultural heritage, the notion of geocultural heritage has been proposed; we build on this and argue that the viewpoints of geoheritage and of cultural heritage—here especially of dark heritage—can be brought further together for mutual benefit. We begin by demonstrating through a bibliometric analysis that the two fields are at present unduly disjointed. We then illustrate how geoheritage and dark cultural heritage can be brought together through four case studies of past volcanism and their complex human entanglements. In conclusion, we encourage heritage workers to be more fully interdisciplinary, to read more widely outside their own fields and to disseminate their research more broadly for mutual benefits of geoheritage valorisation, conservation and risk reduction.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1705-1721
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2019

    Research areas

  • Cultural heritage, Dark heritage, Dark tourism, Geoheritage, Geotourism, Social volcanology

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