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The archaeological site of Sumhuram “Khor Rori”

Since the site of Sumhuram has been included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage list, one of the most important issues, after excavation, is the conservation and the restoration of the masonry structures.
Some of the walls in fact show structural deficiencies which are due, above all, to the lack of protection on the top and to the lack of plaster on the surface, which in antiquity ensured cohesion to the masonry.
Different kind of interventions have been performed, involving both static, historical and aesthetical aspects, according the issues of reversibility of the archaeological restoration and employing the same materials used in antiquity.
The basic criterion in determining the most adequate construction technique is to reproduce, as closest as possible, the type of masonry the wall featured in the past, on the base of what is observed on the wall itself and on the surrounding structures.
To attain this purpose the damaged parts of the wall are dismantled, while the integer ones remain unmodified.
Before the dismantling all the masonry blocks are numbered in order to proceed with the exact replacement of the stones.
Prior to the wall rebuilding, a narrow geo-textile strip is applied on the upper face of the old stones on the external surface, to remark the separation between the unmodified ancient masonry and the new part introduced with the present restoration.
Great attention is reserved to the upper closure of the wall, realized laying stones in an irregular arrangement, to resemble the top surface aspect of the other masonry structures in the site, and to communicate to the observers the idea of an uncompleted structure. Anyway, the gaps between stones on the top layer will be filled with mortar, to create a resistant transversal connection and, above all, to prevent the water to penetrate in the interior part of the wall.
In this way the deteriorating effects of the water seepage will be strongly reduced, and the masonry structure will be adequately protected against the most negative environmental action it underwent along the centuries.