Eachtra Journal

ISSN 2009-2237

Monitoring of Archaeological Monuments Programme

January, 2009 · Written by: Finn Delaney Print This Page This entry is part 4 of 34 in the Issue 01

Pilot Survey in Counties Clare, Roscommon and Waterford

Protection of heritage requires careful and balanced strategies that must be informed by reliable and up-to-date information. The completion of the Record of Monuments and Places (RMP) across the State in 1998 provided for the first time a basic level of statutory protection for all known archaeological monuments. Nevertheless there is evidence of the occurrence of damage, or destruction at monuments. To combat this problem the National Heritage Plan (2002) singled out as a key priority and action ‘the establishment of an enhanced monitoring programme’.

The objectives of a National Monitoring Programme are:

• to establish a stratified and reliable baseline against which the future condition and survival of the recorded archaeological resource can be monitored at both national and county levels at appropriate intervals;
• to determine the levels of risk to monuments in general;
• to provide a general sampling protocol for future programmes. Prior to undertaking a National Monitoring Programme a pilot monitoring programme will be carried out.

The pilot programme was undertaken by Eachtra in 2007 at the behest of the Department of the Environment Heritage and Local Government. The aims of the pilot programme were:
• to estimate the random variation for the criteria that are of importance, for example, the level of destruction of monuments;
• enable all operational aspects to be tested and if necessary modified.

The work entailed visiting 1,913 designated monuments listed in the RMP in three counties (408 in Waterford, 1,028 in the Burren area of County Clare, and 477 in County Roscommon). All these monuments are shown on the RMP maps for the relevant counties. A two-page form outlining the present condition was completed at each monument. The Forms were completed with reference to the previous condition of the monuments as described by the Archaeological Survey of Ireland in recent decades. The data collected from this work was inputted into a database allowing for detailed statistical analysis of the results. A report evaluating the field methodology was also produced.

Issue Navigation«Previous entry | Next entry»