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Consolidation, reconstruction and the interpretation of megalithic monuments

Scarre, Chris

Consolidation, reconstruction and the interpretation of megalithic monuments Thumbnail


Chris Scarre


Megalithic monuments are visible and enduring marks upon the landscape. From this it follows that the archaeologist who excavates one cannot simply close the project by backfilling the trenches and returning the site to arable or pasture: the preservation and consolidation of the monument itself must be addressed. This obligation raises major ethical and practical issues, above all as to what form the preservation should take, and how far archaeologists or others are justified in intervening and modifying the extant remains. Then there is the further issue of visitor access. It is generally recognised that archaeologists have a responsibility to convey the results of their researches to the wider audience. It is, after all, on behalf of the public that most of their work is undertaken, and much of it is funded by national or local government institutions. For many kinds of site, archaeologists may discharge their public obligation by explaining (in print or in person) the importance and significance of the work that they have done. Where a visible and enduring monument is concerned, however, the responsibility extends much further, and includes arrangements for public presentation and visitor access.


Scarre, C. (2006). Consolidation, reconstruction and the interpretation of megalithic monuments. Arkeos perspectivas em diálogo, 16, 13-44

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 1, 2006
Deposit Date Jan 4, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 4, 2017
Journal Arkeos : perspectivas em dialogo
Print ISSN 0873-593X
Publisher Centro Europeu de Investigação da Pré-História do Alto Ribatejo
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 16
Pages 13-44


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