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Management and conservation

Dealing with the exposed mosaics creates problems with the migration of moisture from the subsoil through the mosaic to the air above and through surface condensation.

If moisture is either above or within the structure of the mosaic and the temperature falls below freezing the mosaic will be damaged.

There is also a problem produced by the accumulation of dust and blown soil fragments lodging on the surface and providing a home for algae. If left untreated this allows mosses to take root, which would cause serious damage to the mortar pointing between the individual tesserae.

The aim therefore is to keep the surface as clean and dry as possible.

Read more about the conservation issues in the Roman Town House conservation plan, plus the Mosaics conservation study  by Caroline Sharp of Southampton City Council and Mosaics advisory note by John Stewart of English Heritage.

Building techniques

The main cover structure of the West range comprises a stone tiled roof on oak timbers secured onto a steel frame mounted on pad-stones on the original building foundations.

Where the foundations were not strong enough to carry the load this was spread by concrete ring beams covered by new flint-work similar to the original walls but pointed in pink mortar rather than grey to distinguish clearly what is old and what is new.

Where protection was needed to be given to the interior around the reconstructed Roman window the walls were built up with new flint-work, again pointed with pink mortar to make the new work clear.

All pointing is carried out in lime mortar.

You can discover more about the techniques in the Roman Town House conservation plan.

Reports and documents

Interesting reports and documents relating to the archaeological work to date, problems encountered and future conservation.

The Roman Town House preliminary description by Mark Corney BA (Hons) and Peter W Cox MIFA (2007), for a detailed description of the archaeological work to date, building techniques and interpretation.

The Roman Town House conservation plan, for a summary of the site's history and future conservation and interpretation.

The Mosaics conservation study, for an expert analysis of the problems being experienced by the mosaics in 2003

The Mosaics advisory note, for further advice on the mosaics from John Stewart of English Heritage in 2004.

The Roman Town House tourism feasibility study was completed in 2003, by World Heritage Ltd whose role is set out in the Conservation Plan.

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