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Care and Management of Ancient Stone Monuments during Environmental Change

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Myra GiesenORCiD, Dr Aron Mazel, Professor David GrahamORCiD



Ancient stone monuments (ASMs), such as standing stones and rock art panels, are powerful and iconic expressions of Britain’s rich prehistoric past that have major economic and tourism value. However, ASMs are under pressure due to increasing anthropogenic exposure and changing climatic conditions, which accelerate their rates of disrepair. Although scientific data exists on the integrity of stone monuments, most applies to “built” systems; therefore, additional work specific to ASMs in the countryside is needed to develop better-informed safeguarding strategies. Here, we use Neolithic and Bronze Age rock art panels across Northern England as a case study for delineating ASM management actions required to enhance monument preservation. The state of the rock art is described first, including factors that led to current conditions. Rock art management approaches then are described within the context of future environments, which models suggest to be more dynamic and locally variable. Finally, a Condition Assessment and Risk Evaluation (CARE) scheme is proposed to help prioritise interventions; an example of which is provided based on stone deterioration at Petra in Jordon. We conclude that more focused scientific and behavioural data, specific to deterioration mechanisms, are required for an ASM CARE scheme to be successful.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Giesen MJ, Mazel AD, Graham DW, Warke PA

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Heritage and Sustainable Development

Year: 2011

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Pages: 60-71

Print publication date: 01/06/2011

Date deposited: 15/03/2013

ISSN (print): 1647-4112

Publisher: Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development