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CAMSAR: Condition and Management Survey of the Archaeological Resource

Last updated: 6 October 2010

The Condition And Management Survey of the Archaeological Resource (CAMSAR) (.PDF 4.47Mb)Opens in New window is a statistical survey of the condition and management of the archaeological resource in Northern Ireland which was conducted in 2004-5 by Queen's University Belfast for us.

This involved 1500 randomly selected sites from before 1700 AD, which were visited across NI and their present condition and factors affecting them were recorded.

The data is being used to protect sites most vulnerable to damage and to inform negotiations with landowners and agents.

It is hoped to repeat the survey within 10 years and that future trends will indicate a more positive outcome for field monuments reflecting increased advocacy effort in this area by us.

The results indicate that:

  • 70% of protected sites in State Care, Scheduled or in Agri-Environment management agreement are in good condition
  • 61% of all monuments are earthworks
  • Only 2% of all sites were in excellent condition
  • Over a third of monuments are on improved grassland
  • 43% of monuments have been levelled in the past
  • 34% of monuments have been damaged by livestock in the past five years
  • Only 7% of all sites are substantially complete, while 44% have no above ground features remaining
  • Boundaries and woodland afford the best protection for monuments followed by unimproved grassland and wetland
  • Of the types of sites made of different materials, carved stones have suffered least harm while cairns and burials have been most damaged.