This project aims to develop and broadly disseminate practical guidelines for sheltering archaeological sites with mosaics. There is an urgent need for the creation of guidelines for those in the heritage field and others involved in the decision making and implementation processes for archaeological sheltering, including post construction needs such as evaluation and maintenance. This project will increase the understanding of these processes and provide design criteria for appropriate sheltering solutions.


Building on work begun in 2002 in partnership with Historic England and the Israel Antiquities Authority on the evaluation of the performance of shelters over mosaics, MOSAIKON is continuing to address the urgent issue of sheltering archaeological sites.

Although this project is focused on the specific needs of archaeological sites with mosaics, sheltering continues to be a significant and controversial issue impacting archaeological sites in general, worldwide.

There is a critical lack of literature and guidance on the subject, from the initial decision of whether or not to shelter, through the design and construction phases, to evaluation, maintenance, and monitoring. This project will address this need and aims to create broadly usable guidelines that will be widely accepted and used by the professional community at large.

The project also builds on a symposium on protective shelters for archaeological sites held by the Herculaneum Conservation Project in 2013, in partnership with the GCI and funded through a grant provided by the Getty Foundation.


The GCI, in continued partnership with English Heritage and the Israel Antiquities Authority, is addressing this situation by developing guidelines that

a) are applicable to a range of heritage professionals including architects, engineers, archaeologists, scientists, conservators, curators, and other decision makers and administrators;
b) encompass the entire sheltering process, including the decision of whether or not to shelter, design, construction, and evaluation and maintenance of shelters;
c) provide easily accessible guidelines and illustrative case studies; and
d) are applicable to diverse situations and contexts.

Page updated: August 2016