Classical Coastlines

Sunday 27 November 2022

In 2022, a group of three students, Caitlin Brown, Kristoffer Naas and Lily Talbot, developed the Classical Coastlines Project. The project uses ancient case studies in dialogue with modern ones to raise awareness of strategies of mitigation and adaptation against environmental change, promoting local voices and encouraging critical thinking among authorities addressing environmental change.


The Classical Coastlines project is designed to promote adaptation and resilience against erosion and flooding events, raising awareness of strategies of mitigation and developing community perception of these challenges and their solutions. 

It focuses on how people think, perceive, and relate to the natural world and how we can promote reflection and critical thinking using Classics. 

 The project aims to address the ways in which environmental changes to our coastlines impact communities in Fife, and will create a collection of resources intended to engage community changemakers and stakeholders and address modern issues from a fresh perspective.

Our Aims:

Deepening Knowledge
Raising Awareness
Creating Empowerment
Encouraging Agency

Realising our project:

Map showing case study locations

Project Expansion:

  1. Open-access –> creating a database of sources and materials which is adaptive for future distribution and evolution of the project – itself a resource accessible to potential audiences​
  2. Beyond classics –> integrating narratives and perspectives from ancient Scottish history and folklore​
  3. Branching out –> taking the project beyond Fife to cover other counties and local authorities ​
  4. Opening up –> tailoring workshops to further audiences such as educational institutions, environmental/climate organisations, communities​ etc
  5. Flipping the script –> exploring ways in which research in Scotland can inform our understanding of the ancient world

What Do You Think?

We hope our project has demonstrated how studying the adaptations of settlements in the ancient world can inform the way we address environmental challenges to coastal communities today.

  • How would you use Classics to raise awareness of an issue in your community?
  • Can you think of other instances where Classical case studies have informed modern decision making on environmental issues?
  • Do you think that case studies are the only relevant way by which we can relate between the ancient and modern worlds? What other approaches would you take?

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