Testing inert materials for reburial and paving purposes as a weed elimination method at archaeological sites
Inert materials are used in archaeological sites for reburial and paving purposes. Reburial is a method for the protection of sensitive artifacts from various environmental deteriogens including weed emergence. Root growth causes mechanical disruption to sensitive artifacts and reburial stratifications are designed to inhibit such growth. Paving materials are used to construct routes throughout the archaeological sites that inhibit weed growth and allow pleasant and safe access to the monument. Our experiment aimed to evaluate different inert materials for reburial and paving purposes, as to their capacity to inhibit weed growth. Our experimental reburial stratification included quartz sand, geotextile, LECA (light expansion clay agrigate) and gravel and the treatments consisted of two geotextiles (woven and non-woven) and two irrigation levels (no irrigation, with irrigation), as a factor that promotes plant growth. Treatments with inert materials for paving purposes included "Sand" and pervious concrete "Hydromedia" by LaFarge S.A. and "Mortar MT", by Dalkafouki Oikos Ltd., as well as a "Geotextile plus gravel" stratification and two irrigation levels (no irrigation, with irrigation). Measurements included weed control as the percent of the plots that were not covered by weeds. Reburial plots were also checked to establish whether roots had penetrated the geotextile. Weed control results from reburial plots showed that the woven geotextile was more resilient in preventing weed growth. Woven geotextile provided excellent weed control (over 90%) and acted as an efficient root barrier. The non-woven geotextile did not provide sufficient level of weed control, as the roots penetrated it. Differences were observed in the capacity to prevent weed growth between inert materials. The materials, "Sand", "Hydromedia" and "Mortar MT", completely (100%) prevented weed growth for the duration of the experiment. However the "Geotextile plus gravel" stratification did not provide sufficient weed control that even reached 0% under the irrigation treatment, during the summer growing period.
Kanellou, E., Papafotiou, M., Lefas, P. and Petrocheilou, A. (2017). Testing inert materials for reburial and paving purposes as a weed elimination method at archaeological sites. Acta Hortic. 1189, 73-76
mosaics, reburial stratification, geotextile