The conservation of cultural heritage is a major commitment for all countries around the world, since it is a complex task and a matter of great responsibility. Amongst other sectors of society, science has a contribution to make to heritage preservation. This book is the result of the international conference a /Heritage, Weathering and Conservationa (HWC2006), held in Madrid, Spain in 2006. It brought together prominent scientists and professionals from a variety of disciplines who have been active in the field and have raised the profile of heritage preservation. The main aspects addressed at this conference were those related to the causes of decay of cultural materials (stone, ceramics, metals, paintings, mortars, timber, adobes, etc); the characterization of their properties and the assessment of analytical techniques for their study, with a focus on non-destructive techniques. Many of the studies stress the importance of salt crystallization, atmospheric pollution and biodeterioration and relate these specific factors to decay. A variety of case studies are included, as well as an examination of policies and management. This book will be useful to professionals and scientists working in a variety of fields related to heritage: geologists, geographers, chemists, physicists, biologists, architects, engineers, restorers, historians, archaeologists, policy makers and the general public.