UD's Department of Art Conservation continues to strengthen our partnerships with cultural heritage preservation organizations and our students contribute to heritage conservation efforts across the globe.
This past year, the Winterthur/University of Delaware Program in Art Conservation (WUDPAC) participated in the excavations at el-Kurru, an ancient Kushite royal city located along the Nile in north central Sudan. As the burial place of early royalty and the 25th dynasty rulers of Egypt, the site includes monumental funerary temples, pyramids, and tombs, providing vital insight into the political, religious, and social climate of the period. As a WUDPAC student focused on archaeological objects conservation, Amaris Sturm (Class of 2018) joined the University of Michigan team in the International el-Kurru Archaeological Project, an excavation initiative aimed at investigating the UNESCO world heritage site and assisting in conservation and site preservation efforts. The goal of the project, this year completing its fifth year, is to ultimately provide long-term preservation and accessibility to the site for local and international communities.
Originally excavated in the early 20th century by George Reisner followed by years of exposure, conservation has been a key component of the project since 2013, with the University of Michigan archaeological conservators playing a major role in structural stabilization and large-scale site preservation planning. As one of two conservators on the University of Michigan team this year, Amaris assisted in the conservation efforts of the both the site's structures and associated small finds. From documentation and injection grouting of a funerary temple to condition assessing the Kurru-1 pyramid, Amaris gained experience in the conservation of monumental structures, insight into the challenges of on-site archaeological conservation, and understanding of long-term site preservation. Alongside documentation and treatment, Amaris joined in the planning of site preservation and community outreach initiatives, a key aspect of the long-term preservation of this important world heritage site.