Anastylosis is an archaeological term that refers to reconstructing ruined buildings and monuments. The key to anastylosis is that, as far as is possible, the original architectural elements and materials are used to reassemble the structure.
The criteria for anastylosis, as detailed in the international Venice Charter of 1964, are that the structure’s original condition must be scientifically confirmed; each recovered component’s proper placement must be determined; and replacement materials that are used must be limited to those that are necessary for stability.
However, although the aim is to rebuild using original materials, it may be that a structure needs to be disassembled and reassembled with some new components, or that new foundations may be required.
A well-known and celebrated example of anastylosis is the work to reconstruct the Library of Celsus, built originally by the Romans in Ephesus, Turkey, around 114-117 AD. Prior to the recontruction in 1970-78, the process had mainly been seen as a measure of conservation, whereas, the library project demonstrated its inherent importance in terms of building history and research.
Detractors of anastylosis argue that not all the building phases can be presented – an ancient structure may have gone through several alterations and changes during its history. Anastylosis gives preference to one particular phase.
Another difficulty is that regardless of the rigour applied to the preparation, the reconstruction will inevitably include errors of interpretation. There is also the argument that damage caused to the original components is practically inevitable as a result of anastylosis.
Two other famous examples of the practice are the Acropolis in Athens, and Angkor Wat in Cambodia. High-profile candidates for future anastylosis include the Buddhas of Bamiyan in Afghanistan that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001, and Palmyra in Syria, destroyed by Isis in 2016-17.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Archaeology and construction.
- Conservation area.
- Hagia Sophia.
- Institute of Historic Building Conservation (IHBC)
- Library of Celsus.
- Principles of conservation.
- Remedial works.
- Roman Colosseum.
- Scheduled monuments.
- Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) and Ordnance Survey (OS) have collaborated to identify high streets in Great Britain with new data survey analysis & interactive maps.
Nominations are now open, as the Victorian Society asks residents in England and Wales to nominate threatened Victorian buildings for their Top 10 Endangered Buildings of 2019.
England’s Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) seeks views on proposals for a radically new building and fire safety system.
One of Nottingham’s most cherished Victorian buildings, The Birkin Building designed by Thomas Chamber Hine in 1855 in Nottingham’s Lace Market, has been restored.
A recent Ramboll study indicates that rental yield and property values are underrated, as developers and investors underestimate the value of producing sustainable buildings.
This year, England’s Heritage Open Days (HODs) is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a raft of new initiatives and partners, focusing on this year’s theme of ‘People Power’.