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Herculaneum’s outstanding archaeological remains could alone justify the Herculaneum Conservation Project’s investment in archaeological research. However, considering the huge challenge of protecting the archaeology that has already been excavated, the Herculaneum Conservation Project does not consider extending the archaeological site to be a priority, at least until the current situation of decay is under control across the entire site. Archaeological research that does take place is limited to areas where the potential results may shed light upon particular conservation problems or contribute to the understanding of a building or a construction phase.
Such research activity is fundamental for informing conservation work and Herculaneum Conservation Project results demonstrate that a commitment to improving our understanding of Herculaneum within a conservation programme offers unique opportunities for knowing more about the site.
In general terms, the archaeological work of the Herculaneum Conservation Project includes topographical survey, archaeological and geological investigations. All of these activities have taken place throughout Herculaneum as part of the work on structures and decorative features, or as part of a special project.