NHSF is asking the heritage science community to help it 'Fill the Gaps' in knowledge and understanding identified by the National Heritage Science Strategy.
In 2015 NHSF commissioned an initial review of the heritage science research that had been carried out since 2009. The resulting report ‘Filling the Gaps’ maps research listed on the Gateway to Research (i.e. funded by the UK Research Councils) to the gaps in knowledge and practice identified in “The role of science in the management of the UK's heritage”, one of the three evidence reports produced to support the development of the National Heritage Science Strategy.

NHSF is now working with the heritage science community to ‘crowd-source’ knowledge of heritage science research to further ‘fill the gaps’ in the 10 topics identified in the evidence report.

We want to identify the gaps in knowledge and practice that remain so that we can promote them to researchers and funders as opportunities to be addressed in the future. We also want to be able to share information on where to find research that has been carried out.

This survey addresses the third topic area ‘Understanding decay mechanisms and rates of decay of archaeology’

The National Heritage Science Strategy evidence report identified that further work is needed to determine:

·      the response of organic and inorganic archaeological materials to short, and long term fluctuations in water level

·      the rate of degradation of organic materials following de-watering

·      the impact of chemical agents (contamination, fertilisers) on artefacts

·      the role of micro-organisms in degradation of waterlogged buried material and factors causing increased activity

·      the impact of compression on artefacts (from construction)

·      post-excavation changes to archaeological materials and mitigate their effects

·      the deterioration of archaeological soil samples; what information is lost during long term storage

·      the impacts of exposure of marine archaeological remains

Please add your knowledge of research that addresses any of these areas against the relevant heading on the following page. It can be published or unpublished research, completed or underway. Our only criteria is that the project started in or after 2009. You can complete the survey multiple times to add more than one piece of information against the same research area.

The areas are listed as separate survey questions with fields for  Author(s), Lead organisation, Project title etc. You don’t have to fill in all the information but clearly the more you can provide, the more helpful a resource we’ll be able to develop.

We have also asked for information on the funding source and approximate amount of funding for the research/projects. This information is optional but if you can add it, it will help us to build up a picture of how heritage science research has been funded in recent years, which will be particularly useful as we potentially move to a new funding environment following the outcome of the UK Referendum vote to leave the European Union.

Many thanks for your contribution to this project.
National Heritage Science Forum