ACL Project List


The study found that vegetation or “green” caps are most effective on compound walls that can support healthy plant growth and soil depth. Soft caps prevented water from entering the clay mortar core of the wall, appeared to reduce thermal movement of the wall top and therefore the potential for cracking, and are easily repaired. They utilize locally available materials, are non-toxic to humans and the environment, and result in little construction waste, unlike cement or other modified soil mortars. Their success depends on design details which will necessarily vary with different wall types; however this flexibility makes them a cost effective method for the range of wall top conditions found at this and other exposed sites.

Future Research

Future research needs to address effective monitoring methodology, particularly a non-contact monitoring system.  Available non destructive examination (NDE) methods such as infrared thermography need to be explored to map out void spaces and cracks as well as heat and moisture transfer in the wall within the confines of site access.  For a contact based monitoring system, the design should allow easy replacement of the probes in case of any monitor failure.  Running a simulation model based on the data would also help visualize the dynamics of the system.

The research should also incorporate investigating the mechanisms of water entry into the wall from the associated soil fill and ground.  Parallel efforts to reduce the amount of liquid water in the soil and to prevent water shedding from the wall tops could circumvent potential structural and material failures resulting from water absorption from below.  This could be enhanced greatly by installing time-lapse photographic monitoring on site to better understand the diurnal and seasonal patterns of moisture, especially in the form of snow deposition and melt.
Better knowledge of Far View’s masonry construction would benefit the long term maintenance of the site as well as generate a more accurate understanding of the site’s original construction phases and the integrity of the masonry.  Documenting the presence of intact ancient soil mortar walls (i.e., not rebuilt or stabilized) is critical in understanding the vulnerability of the walls to moisture and the effects of previous stabilization efforts.  By investigating the original mortar technology through geophysical and chemical analyses, it is possible to avoid introducing incompatible materials to the system.  In addition, by observing how the materials on site behave under local environmental conditions, it is also possible to provide a sustainable and long term intervention program.
Integrated research into both modern and original technology would bring about measurable benefits as a means to sustainable management of this important archaeological site.
Cap design diagram