Archeological Monuments Protection System. Between Theory and Conservation Practice


The beginnings of archaeological conservatorship in Poland were primarily the process of identification of historical sites and their inventory, which is a fundamental determinant of effective protection of remnants of ancient human material culture.

The recent emergence of non-invasive research methods in the field of science and their use in Polish archaeology has meant that the hitherto inventory of archaeological sources associated with tedious standard field surveys can be carried out quickly and spectacularly. While the need for modern research techniques is indisputable and necessary in every scientific discipline, it is no less important not to stop at the stage of data acquisition, which contributes to the creation of a database of archaeological sites to be protected, but does not provide the expected answer to the question: how to protect them?

The following questions arise during the conservation of inventories of archaeological sites: where and what are the temporal and material limits of the protection of archaeological heritage? The variety of registered examples of relics of terrain forms from the traces of former ploughing, through the negatives of historical architectural objects to the lines of war trenches or lists of modern objects acquired in the course of searching for monuments require the conservator to make the right decisions, which not infrequently arouse extreme reactions. So is the protection of archaeological monuments being carried out efficiently?

Archaeological conservation should be viewed as a complex process consisting of three elements: "inventory, protection, management", where management is understood in terms of long-term conservation programs developed for specific groups of archaeological monuments. The Act of 23 July 2003 on Monuments Protection and Care in force in our country enables the application of a number of effective measures, however, the current system of monuments protection is still focused on "inventory" and "protection", and the third element "management" is still extremely difficult to implement.


archeological conservatorship; archeological monuments protection system; monuments protection office

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Published : 2021-12-29

Krawczewska, A. (2021). Archeological Monuments Protection System. Between Theory and Conservation Practice. Protection of Cultural Heritage, (12), 25-34.

Agnieszka Krawczewska