5.3.5 At-risk categories of carved stones: other categories of carved stone

The architectural carved stones and prehistoric rock art tend to be eclipsed within conservation management strategies and research, which have tended to focus on early medieval carved stone monuments and gravestones (e.g. Section 2.8). The lack of guidance literature and peer-reviewed case studies to inform interventions leaves decision-making vulnerable to being arbitrary rather than grounded in established good practice. Both in situ rock art and architectural carved stones can be physically inaccessible which present logistical challenges for carrying out work and its subsequent monitoring. The Imaging techniques: Case Study 7 shows the value of new technologies for recording carved stones (see also Condition monitoring at Ormaig: Case Study 37). The condition of architectural carvings depends on the effectiveness of the overall building maintenance programmes and rock art on bedrock sites is often exposed and sensitive to environmental changes. Architectural carved stones can hold value on the basis of both their artistic and structural merits. This duality can cause tensions for identifying conservation priorities. In the case of rock art, balancing preservation with access and interpretation can require imaginative solutions to be found (e.g. Dunadd—Figure 64, Cochno).