2.3.7 Research on protecting and recording early medieval carved stones

Since the days of Romilly Allen, there has been an acute awareness of the vulnerability of Scotland’s early medieval carved stones and repeated appeals have been made to ensure these are safeguarded and preserved, not least by Allen himself (1888; 1895; 1901; Allen and Anderson 1903). Although steps have been taken to address such concerns since the 19th century, it is only comparatively recently that the heritage management of this material has been a subject of research in and of itself. Foster has done much to provoke consideration of these issues (2001; 2005b). The Scottish situation has been considered in comparison with the Welsh (Edwards and Hall 2005) and there have been specific studies on protective coverings (Muir 2005), and approaches to museum display (Yeoman 2005; Hall 2005a). New fields have been pioneered in a Scottish context by Foster (casts and other reproductions—Foster 2013a; Foster et al. 2014; Foster 2015a; Foster and Curtis 2016; see also McCormick 2010) and Jones (meaning and social value—Jones 2004; 2005; 2010; 2011). There have been a number of studies of recording methods (J N G Ritchie 1998; Scott 1997) including traditional photography (Scott 1997) and 3D recording (Carty 2005; Jeffrey 2003; 2005; Lerma and Muir 2014), also of reproductions and casts (see above; Figure 24).

Black and white photograph of a plaster cast of a cross slab - with pointed top, bosses and circulinear decoration

Figure 24: Plaster cast of the front face of the Nigg cross-slab, made in 1894 by Leopoldo Arrighi for the Edinburgh Museum of Science and Art (now destroyed). Crown Copyright: Historic Environment Scotland

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