In recent years the Herculaneum Conservation Project has focused on creating mechanisms that reduce the level of decay across the entire site of Herculaneum. The team is working on a city-wide scale, focussing resources and works on a variety of areas, and dealing not only with structures and decorative features, but also infrastructure, which is crucial for reducing the major causes of decay.
Limiting water infiltration and pooling in the ancient buildings is a complex challenge to manage and the Herculaneum Conservation Project has dedicated significant attention to this issue for several years: the ancient sewer network has been reinstated and since 2008 this drainage system has been used so that all the water from the Roman town is collected and channelled towards the sea.
The works that started in 2009 have allowed improvements in the overall functioning of roofs and associated water drainage, with a programme to repair or replace modern roofing.
Finally, we are also improving accessibility, with work on infrastructures that can increase access for site vehicles and facilitate the transport of material around site, thereby reducing conservation and maintenance costs.