Post-excavation deterioration of the Copney Bronze Age Stone Circle Complex: A geomorphological perspective

Warke, Patricia A. and Curran, Joanne M. and Smith, Bernard J. and Gardiner, Mark and Foley, Claire (2010) Post-excavation deterioration of the Copney Bronze Age Stone Circle Complex: A geomorphological perspective. Geoarchaeology, 25 (5). pp. 541-571. ISSN 0883-6353


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Post-excavation deterioration of stones from under blanket peat at the Copney Bronze Age Stone Circle Complex in County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, proceeded through widespread scaling, flaking, and splitting of stones. Investigation showed that prior to burial the porphyritic stones already possessed a complex legacy of geological weaknesses derived from hydrothermal alteration and tectonic deformation. Analysis indicated that significant alteration occurred during approximately 2000 years of burial under acidic peat cover, with development of a secondary porosity, alteration of primary minerals, and the opening of preexisting lines of weakness within the stones. Burial under peat also resulted in "bleaching" the stones so that they appeared white in color following excavation. These alterations during burial left the stones in a significantly weakened state and particularly susceptible to the effects of subaerial weathering processes. Data underline the potential fragility of excavated stonework and highlight the need to plan for its aftercare before complete excavation is undertaken. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords:Copney Bronze Age Stone Circle Complex, Post-excavation, Deterioration, Peat
Subjects:V Historical and Philosophical studies > V400 Archaeology
Divisions:College of Arts > School of History & Heritage > School of History & Heritage (Heritage)
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ID Code:28511
Deposited On:30 Aug 2017 13:25

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