Principle 2 - Information Sources

Interpretation and presentation should be based on evidence gathered through accepted scientific and scholarly methods as well as from living cultural traditions.

2.1  Interpretation should show the range of oral and written information, material remains, traditions, and meanings attributed to a site. It should also clearly identify the sources of this information.

2.2  Interpretation should be based on a well researched, multidisciplinary study of the site and its surroundings, but should also acknowledge that meaningful interpretation also necessarily includes reflection on alternative historical hypotheses, local myths, and stories.

2.3  At cultural heritage sites where traditional storytelling or memories of historical participants provide an important source of information about the significance of the site, interpretive programmes should incorporate these oral testimonies—either indirectly, through the facilities of the interpretive infrastructure, or directly, through the active participation of members of associated communities as on-site interpreters.

2.4  Visual reconstructions, whether by artists, architects, or computer modelers, should be based upon detailed and systematic analysis of environmental, archaeological, architectural, and historical data, including analysis of written, oral and iconographic sources, and photography. The information sources on which such visual renderings are based should be clearly documented and alternative reconstructions based on the same evidence, when available, should be provided for comparison.

2.5  Interpretation and presentation activities and the research and information sources on which they are based should be documented and archived for future reference and reflection.