Article: “Conservation of Earthen Building Materials” (2018)

Mariana Correia, Luis Guerrero, Conservation of Earthen Building Materials,
The Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences, Wiley, 2018.

Worldwide, there is a unique, diverse, and fragile earthen archaeological heritage that is at risk. The difficulties to conserve earthen heritage are many, and there is evident recurrent lack of knowledge on how to proceed when addressing its conservation. This entry reviews some of the technical strategies that have been applied in recent years, including preventive measures such as reburial of excavated structures, sheltering, and surface coating; and modification of the earth material through stabilizers, additives, adhesives, and the use of inorganic, natural organic, and synthetic organic consolidants. Structural reinforcement through nonintrusive and intrusive measures is also discussed. The survival of earthen built heritage is a challenge that needs to be addressed with thoughtfulness, knowledge, and humbleness.

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