In this work we propose a methodology to evaluate the impact of natural hazards (mainly rockfalls, debrisflows and avalanches) and human pressure to archaeological conservation of cultural landscapes in high mountain areas (Núria and Coma de Vaca valleys, Eastern Pyrenees). To do this, a specific and original methodology for risk assessment has been developed through the collaboration of archaeologists specialized in mountain cultural landscapes and geologists specialised in natural hazards.
Due to the easy access and its well preserved natural heritage, this is one of the most important areas for mountain tourism in Catalonia. In this area, the decline of traditional activities and the touristic pressure has an important impact on the conservation of the archaeological record. Even though the archaeological research attests a high density of structures and sites, a rich archaeological heritage, it is often ignored by tourists and locals. We propose to create a database including information from the visitors, their concentration during specific dates and their most frequent displacements (excursions and short walks), and integrate this information along with the archaeological sites database in a Geographical Information System and to evaluate the potential impact of tourist activities on the conservation of cultural landscape heritage. Moreover, heritage management strategies should be adapted tacking into account regional and local stakeholders, in order to point out the existence and importance of the archaeological sites within this natural space and raise social awareness of this fragile heritage.
Our final aim is to produce cultural heritage itineraries adapted to families and trekkers and promote integrated cultural and natural landscape as a responsible touristic resource.