Session: #293

Theme & Session Format

Archaeological heritage and museum management: future chances, future risks
Session format:
Regular session

Title & Content

The Conservation Archaeology of Dry Stone Monuments
The conservation of dry-stone monuments presents a unique challenge: often, structures such as brochs, chambered tombs and other megalithic monuments are complex in architectural and engineering terms, meaning that a thorough understanding of the principles of their construction is necessary before they can be stabilised. The patterns of their collapse and decay can be similarly complex, often leaving fragile remains of corbelled cells, stair chambers and lintelled passages that can be a hazard to both archaeological deposits and the visiting public.
Equally important is the need to design an approach to conservation that preserves the important characteristics of the monument in such a way that visitors can understand the original form of the structure. Past approaches to drystone monument conservation have too often sacrificed the visibility and authenticity of original features for the purposes of practical simplicity.
A related issue is the extent to which archaeological investigation and documentation should be considered an obligation of practitioners undertaking intrusive conservation works, and whether such works should always be designed hand-in-hand with research questions.
This session will aim to explore the relationship between conservation works and archaeological research and consider the variety of approaches to the challenges outlined above taken across Europe. Papers are invited that consider:
- Conservation approaches and archaeological research design
- Use of new technology in conservation archaeology
- Conservation and presentation of archaeological interpretation
drystone, conservation, excavation
Session associated with MERC:
Session associated with CIfA:
Session associated with SAfA:
Session associated with CAA:
Session associated with DGUF:
Session associated with other:


Main organiser:
Graeme Cavers (United Kingdom) 1
John Barber (United Kingdom) 1
Florian Cousseau (Switzerland) 2
1. AOC Archaeology Group
2. l'Université de Genève