Archaeological Conservation at ASOR

Posted in: Annual Meeting, ASOR, Conservation
Tags: annual meeting, Archaeology, ASOR, conservation, environmental conservation
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Author: LeeAnn Barnes Gordon

For the past two years, my colleague, Suzanne Davis, Associate Curator and Head of Conservation for the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan, and I have organized a session at the ASOR Annual Meeting on the topic of archaeological conservation. We were quite pleased that our session, Conservation and Site Preservation in the Near East, had a turnout of more than 50 attendees, despite its timing as the first early morning session on the first day of the conference. Our line-up of engaging speakers deserves the credit for drawing such a good crowd!

Leslie Friedman, Getty Conservation Institute, speaking at the 2013 ASOR Annual Meeting.

The session began with a presentation by Michael Jones of the American Research Center in Eygpt who spoke about two decades of work accomplished through ARCE’s conservation and education programs with a particular focus on the Red Monastery in Sohag. Leslie Friedman followed with a synopsis of the progress of the MOSAIKON Initiative led by the Getty Conservation Institute and ICCROM. The next paper by William Weir of the University of Cincinnati detailed the recent excavation and stabilization of mosaic floors at the site of Kourion, Cyprus. Ioanna Kakoulli of the UCLA/Cotsen Institute of Archaeology gave an outstanding talk on the materials, technology, and preservation of ancient Cypriot wall paintings. The challenges of mudbrick preservation and interpretation at two important Iron Age sites in Israel were tackled in the presentation by Zeev Herzog of Tel Aviv University. Lastly, Sanchita Balachandran of the Johns Hopkins Archaeological Museum described how conservation and technical analysis are incorporated into the undergraduate coursework at JHU using the museum’s Near Eastern collection. You can read more detailed descriptions of our speakers’ talks on the blog of the American Institute for Conservation: Chicago 2012  and Baltimore 2013.

Our session at the 2014 ASOR meeting in San Diego will be the third of four in our series on conservation. The goal of our series is to bring together archaeologists and conservators to share research, ideas, and discuss issues impacting the conservation of Near Eastern artifacts and sites. We hope to foster collaboration and better integrate continuing education in the allied fields of conservation and archaeology. If you are interested in participating in our session next year, please feel free to contact us to discuss possible paper topic proposals or to request more details about the session. Abstracts are due by February 15th, and more information about submissions can be found on ASOR’s website.

For more information, feel free to contact Suzanne Davis and LeeAnn Barnes Gordon.


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