4.4 Research Recommendations

See also Section 2 for background to these research recommendations.

4.4.1 Principles

  1. Ensure that the full range of values of carved stones are routinely explored and used to inform understanding of their significance, and do this in relation to different communities of interest. This will enable value assessments to feed into the heritage cycle.
  2. Reflect on the implications of broader understandings of value for carved stone management practices in general, identifying strategic research needs as this knowledge changes.

4.4.2 Problems

  1. Bridging the gap in theory and practice between designation criteria/authorised heritage discourse and values-based approaches (Section 4.2).
  2. Marrying cultural values and public values in practice (Section 4.2, Section 4.3.5).
  3. Understanding how access to data and knowledge feeds into values held by the public (Sections 4.1, Section 4.3.3).

4.4.3 Practice

  1. Consider the value of carved stones as single stones, groups and collections (Section 4.3.1).
  2. Respect the value of the places that carved stones once stood/were used, and factor this into the overall understanding of the value of carved stones (Section 4.3.1).
  3. Apply biographical, interdisciplinary approaches because they offer a framework for exploring value through time and into the present, embracing social value (Section 4.3.7).
  4. Ensure regional and supra-regional overviews exist to provide a context in which to understand values and ultimately significance. Modern national boundaries will often be an irrelevance in this context (Section 4.3.1).
  5. Marry an understanding of values with an understanding of the physical condition of the stones and scale of risks to them to establish how the values (and ultimately the significances) are being affected, and what the potential opportunities are (Section 4.3.3).
  6. Factor in the value of analogue and digital replicas of carved stones (historic and modern), and in doing so consider a composite biographical approach (Section 4.3.1).

4.4.4 Projects: enhancing existing

  1. Establish the different meanings and values placed on carved stones by communities, how this connect to concepts of identity and place, and how knowledge might lead to greater public engagement with the carved stones (Section 4.3.3).
  2. Establish how cultural and natural activities affect the historical and current values of the carved stones. Cultural activities include actions to conserve, present and interpret carved stones. Natural activities include the impact of weathering and erosion. Consider these at different scales, in relation to the materiality of the stones, their immediate location and context, and their landscape setting (Sections 4.3.2 Section 4.3.3).
  3. Establish priorities for protecting/researching the earlier, especially primary, locations of carved stones so that we better understand their meaning and values through time (Section 4.3.1).

4.4.5 Projects: new approaches

  1. Establish whether there is anything distinctive about how people value carved stones/different types of carved stones, and in different contexts (Section 4.3.3).
  2. Focus on understanding neglected areas of carved stone value, such as social, spiritual and economic (Section 4.3.3, Section 4.3.4, Section 4.3.5).
  3. Establish how current local communities of believers and non-believers value the stones at ecclesiastical sites, and how can this be used to improve engagement in their protection, engagement and enjoyment (Section 4.3.4).
  4. Establish the value of loose and vulnerable carved stones to inform future priorities for attention, and to better understand how to work effectively with them (Section 4.3.1).
  5. Explore traditions of stewardship and how these influence the values placed on carved stones (Section 4.3.3).
  6. Explore the ways in which provision of greater information about carved stones alters perceptions of their value (Sections 4.1, Section 4.3.3).
  7. Establish how better to use an understanding of value to improve how people engage with and enjoy carved stones (Section 4.3.3).
  8. Establish how replicas of carved stones 'work' in practice and the implications for heritage management practice (Section 4.3.3).
  9. Research and provide guidance for museums on how to assess the significance, needs and opportunities for replicas of carved stones in their care (Sections 4.3.1, Section 4.3.3).
  10. Explore the economic value (actual and potential) of carved stones (Section 4.3.5)
  11. Establish the non-use values of carved stones (Section 4.3.5)