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To understand the role of the earth scientist in the pre-restoration research of stone monuments, it is necessary to summarize the tasks that he/she can fulfil. Pre-restoration research into building materials is generally conducted to provide information on types of material, their damage and repair. Although the technologist and restorer must manage the practical aspects of repair, the earth scientist can make a significant contribution in terms of material research. First, he or she can answer questions on the nature of the stone(s) used, their provenance (location of the quarry), and their weathering characteristics in terms of the deterioration of physical and mechanical properties and destruction of rock fabric. Second, the earth scientist can research the physical and mechanical properties of new stone proposed for as a replacement for decayed stonework, including recommendations for alternative materials where stone from the original quarry is no longer available.

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