The progress of vegetation and the passage of time are the main challenges in the conservation of the Banys de la Reina

Friday, 27 September, 2019 - 17:00

Stopping the advance of vegetation and coping with the devastation of time were the two main tasks carried out by Alebus Historical Heritage from January to September this year at the Banys de la Reina site.

This was explained by the technicians who took part in these works in a lecture at Saló Blau, in order to announce the final results of these works, which were mainly aimed at preserving this archaeological zone and preventing its destruction.

According to restorer Carolina Mai, one of the main problems faced by the technicians from the outset was the "excessive and uncontrolled" growth of the vegetation. Herbicides, gravel, weed-killing layers and even manual removal had to be used to stop the advance of vegetation, as well as the consolidation of walls believed to be grass growing on them. They also found anthills that had destroyed small structures.

On the other hand, the work was to deal with the problems that have arisen over time. The technicians also found out that the protection that covered many areas of the site as geotextiles and sand had been dismantled, so that they had to be replaced by others to ensure the preservation of the archaeological area.

Their work also consisted of assessing the condition of the plant and consolidating all its parts in order to maintain it under the best possible conditions.

"The idea of this work was to alleviate the deterioration of the structures, an almost urgent measure. It must be remembered that the site is only open in summer and the weather is a great enemy, although there are covered areas that are necessary for the maintenance of the infrastructure," said the director of the find Alicia Luján.

The technicians who took part in these actions will now send files with information about the work to the Ministry of Culture and recommendations about the time needed to check the structures to ensure that they continue to be kept in good condition.

Accurate planimetry

As part of the maintenance and repair work, Alebus Historical Heritage has also carried out drone flights, which have made it possible to plan the installation with great precision.

As the representative of Eduardo López Seguí explained, the photographs, taken at two different heights, not only provide a three-dimensional model of the entire archaeological area, but also make it possible to "observe with millimetre precision from every perspective and height, down to details such as mosaic stones". "The photos taken open up a new way of documenting the website," he stressed.

This was the first time that maintenance and conservation work had been carried out on Banys de la Reina, beyond the actions of the successive work camps of volunteers from IVAJ or Amicitia. The site was declared a cultural asset in October 2018 and the aim is now to study new measures to conserve this archaeological area and make it known to the population.