Home Page Issues Publishing Principles Order Form Links Contact Türkçe
Detailed Search  
Click here to visit web site of Akmed
If you would like to get announcement mails about Akmed activities, please subcribe to our mailling list.
First name:
Last name:


How the Exposed Structures of Archeology Lose Their Strength
Friedmund HUEBER*

Although a continuous and constant condition of environmental climate is a necessary requirement to be secured for nearly perfect protection of materials, it is not entirely possible to attain this end for structures standing in the open or excavated out of the ground. Since there is almost an ideal and stable climate under the protective layer of earth, everything that is not necessary to be placed on public exhibit must be covered up and thus be preserved at minimum cost for posterity until better methods of research are available in the future. A continuous protection is necessary for the monuments that contact the earth directly and stand in the open air, if they are intended to be presented in situ and remain undamaged. This can be best realized (expressed in general terms) by a continuous and constant air conditioning of the environment.

In addition to the person responsible for finding solutions to the problems of preservation, there are experts who are preservor-restaurateurs. The restaurateur, by taking into account the contributions of a pathalogist-engineer in construction and static, as well as of a city-planner, a museum expert and a number of other experts in cases where necessary, diagnoses the case of anamnesia and after due evaluation of the precautions, develops the suitable measures precovery, restoration and preservation. Each archaeological monument that cannot be recreated anew deserves these efforts of expertise to prevent material losses, wrong treatments and misguided investments. The archaeologist in charge of the work site should at least be informed of the basic dangers, so that he can identify them as to when, where and why they arise.

The most frequently observed form of destruction stems from the affects of water. Water as rain, erodes the wall tops, and -though less attention is paid to this in general- causes the wall to collapse by damp rising from the ground and thus spoiling the wall-base entirely.

The most stable conditioning can be obtained by covering the excavation with earth. Protective roofs and covering for wall tops are only attention getting, but they may be some help against local harms in general. Wall bases that are wet will lead to a slow but steady destruction and to the walls final collapse. Damage to the original materials could be slowed down for relatively longer period, or maybe even stopped by the disposal of corrosive materials that retain humidity at the wall-bases, and the erection of static supports with anti-corrosive porous materials.

Protective structures for walls in contact with the earth may be meaningful if they create with proper shading a continous climate closely similar to that under the ground and around the buffer areas, and do not cause great changes in environmental climate like a greenhouse.

Each structure requires continous maintenances and inspection carried out by experts every few years.

*Prof. Dr. Friedmund Hueber, Mimar, Ludwig-Boltzman DAB - Arkeolojik Yapı Analizi ve Anıtları Koruma -Enstitüsü'nün Yöneticisi; Viyana Teknik Üniversitesi, AVUSTURYA.

Article List