Recent instances of the destruction of cultural assets in conflict zones have demonstrated the need to develop methods which will allow for the assessment of damage to heritage stone in the field. In particular, non-destructive methods would be invaluable when working on sites damaged by contemporary ballistics. Permeability (TinyPerm 3) and surface hardness (Equotip) surveys of stone damaged by 7.62 × 39 mm (AK-47) projectiles were undertaken to determine the ability of these methods to identify the spatial distribution of damage patterns such as shear faces and surface fractures. Results demonstrate the ability of surface hardness surveys to distinguish between non-impacted surfaces of the target stone and surfaces which shattered/sheared upon impact. Whilst spatial distribution analysis (“heat mapping”) of Equotip data did not correlate directly with surface fractures, permeability data heat maps were found to be indicative of surface fracture distribution. The data suggests that compaction of the stone matrix at the impact crater results in a lesser reduction of hardness in this area relative to the wider damaged surface. Surveys of impacted stone using the methods outlined here can identify damage patterns that are not visible to the naked eye, thus aiding in damage identification on fragile sites.
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