Archaeology as a destructive force

The site has provided all the information considered necessary for the historic record and is left abandoned. No money can be made available for further excavation and a period of neglect begins. Excavated material from the interior of the temple had provided a counterfort against the pressure of soil, loose rock and water moving down the hillside. Now the spoil has been removed, the rear wall collapses. Water ponds under the foot of the lower wall encouraging its subsidence. Water moving through the composite walls loosens the face work from its core. Water ponds on the mosaic floor and micro-organisms begin to colonise the painted plaster surfaces. Cut roots of vegetation growing on the wall begin to support new growth. Small mammals return to the site and begin to burrow into loose fill. The plaster is totally unprotected and detaches from the walls. Within a few years nothing significant will be left on the site for further study and re-appraisal.

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