A wide range of methodologies have been applied to promote the conservation of exposed and managed archaeological sites, including shelters. Commonly used as a protective measure in many areas of the world, shelters are not as common in the USA. In addition there have been few efforts to evaluate scientifically their use and efficacy. As a response to the recognized need to further scholarship and dialogue about shelters, a colloquium on the topic was held in Tumacacori, Arizona, in January 2001. The colloquium goals focused on research, exchange of information, the advancement of methodological approaches, incorporation of sheltering concepts into planning processes and identifying field needs. To achieve these aims, the following four themes were developed:
• deciding to shelter
• establishing conservation, design and construction criteria
• designing and constructing shelters
• evaluating shelter performance.
The colloquium followed a course of presentations, site visits and a final plenary session summing up the issues put forth. Participants represented a cross-section of disciplines and a range of international experiences.