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In this article I assess how value is assigned to archaeological monuments in Austrian and German monument protection, based on Alois Riegl's Theory of the Value of Monuments (1903). Riegl's theory is the foundation of all valuation processes in germanophone heritage management; but - since it was developed by an art historian for the purposes of etablishing the monument value of art objects - fundamentally unsuited for the valuation of as yet mostly unknown and unassessable archaeological monuments. In the paper, I in particular show that archaeological heritage managers in germanophone countries have apparently as yet not fully understood that the value an archaeological monument has under Riegl's theory changes fundamentally at the moment it is extracted ex situ: it's value as a historical document is extinguished at this moment, while it gains new 'modern use values' that it did not have up until this moment. This causes various problems for archaeological heritage management in germanophone countries. For this reason I propose that there is a need to develop an independent theory of the monument value of archaeological objects and sites.


  • ARCHAEOLOGY, Heritage, Heritage law, Heritage management
Original languageGerman
Media of outputScience blog
Publication statusPublished - 10 Feb 2018

Publication series

NameArchäologische Denkmalpflege
ISSN (Print)2516-4309

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