The ‘Triple R Approach on the Restoration of Archaeological Dry Stone City Walls: Procedures and Application to a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Oman


The ‘Triple R’ approach on the restoration of dry stone walls, using recognizable, reversible and respectful constructive techniques is here illustrated. A set of restoration procedures are explained and applied to a UNESCO World Heritage site in Al-Baleed (Salalah, Sultanate of Oman) in the ‘Land of Frankincense’. The procedures were adapted in an innovative way to take into account the climate features of the Indian Ocean area (specifically, the effects of the monsoon season). All the restoration procedures aimed at conserving the site’s original architectural features by using only suitable stones and materials found on-site. Specific procedures have been adopted to consolidate walls, gates, foundations and sloping surfaces. Simple on-site mechanical tests and evaluation methods have been developed for a quick assessment of the safety level of the restored walls to ease future archaeological excavations. The application is related to a waterfront side of the ancient city built around the ninth century and added to over the next five centuries. These restoration procedures allowed for further archaeological excavations with new findings is here described.


Sociology and Anthropology

Document Type





city wall, dry stone walls, Masonry, restoration, rock collapse, South Arabia, UNESCO World Heritage

Publication Date


Journal Title

Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites