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The conservation profession has its roots in the intellectual movements of the first half of the 19th century, following the Enlightenment. Scholarly study of objects made available important archaeological excavations and discoveries gave birth to debates on theoretical issues of preservation. The papers in this volume suggest that we should not think of the 19th century as a time solely marked by conservation activities that should be criticised, but as an interesting confluence of various attitudes out of which modern conservation trends emerged.