The Herculaneum Conservation Project originally started in a single urban block, using the Insula Orientalis I as a case study. While this case study area has never been abandoned, the need to use the available resources across the entire site has led to a reduction in the investment in this urban block and a revaluation of the initial ambitious objectives. It was quickly understood that carrying out a ‘perfect’ restoration project for a single urban block was no longer in line with project aims which, thanks to its sponsorship contract, aims to manage the entire site together with the Soprintendenza.
Having then carried out a campaign to tackle emergency conservation situations across the site, the Herculaneum Conservation Project team are working to structure the site-wide campaign better, focusing not only on high risk situations, but also on creating a system of continuous care that brings together emergency works, on-going maintenance, and medium- and long-term works on infrastructure, structures and decorative features.
In this context, a broad approach is being taken in the Insula Orientalis I to site-wide management of conservation problems (after identifying priorities and planning works that can resolve or mitigate the main causes of decay), a series of more in-depth studies are taking place to examine specific conservation problems, in order to guide actions across the rest of the site.
Since 2006 the site-wide campaign has gradually evolved and its aims can be summarized as follows:
The aim of this website is to communicate the outcomes of these initiatives, as well as others currently underway. In addition, this website illustrates other Herculaneum Conservation Project initiatives in more general terms. Various initiatives have been launched in more recent years with different partners for improving the edges of the site and the relationship between the archaeological park and the modern town, including proposals to extend the archaeological site with a new campaign of archaeological excavations, open site museum facilities and launch the Herculaneum Centre. Many of these projects are already underway, but as can be understood from this website, there still remains a lot to be done to ensure the future sustainability of the archaeological site and to guarantee that it has a more active and positive role in the life of the modern town.
- Establishing routine: once the emergencies have been resolved, specific approaches to maintenance are being identified which can easily be implemented by the Soprintendenza;
- Carrying out works to improve site infrastructure, in particular rainwater management and improving access routes for maintenance;
- Improving methods for protecting archaeological structures and decorative features (shelters, sacrificial layers, etc);
- Sharing archaeological information gained on site thanks to the conservation work;
- Carrying out research for improving conservation methodologies and for developing model interventions.