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Archaeological Site Preservation

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​Students get real world experience at the Kilik Mishik archaeological site in Erbil


The training overseen by the University of Delaware at the Iraqi Institute is divided into two levels: Introductory (Fundamentals of Conservation) and Advanced (Conservation Treatment and Planning). The Fundamentals course gives a broad understanding of the international standards and skills in the field based on the concept of Preventive Conservation; it is better to stop damage and deterioration before it happens instead of fixing problems later. These ideas and skills can be used no matter what position the Iraqi individuals hold: conservator, collections manager, curator, archaeologist, exhibit specialist, or administrator. The Advanced course, designed for individuals who have passed the Fundamentals course with identified skills and distinction, focuses more directly on developing the knowledge of people who will work in archeological site preservation. 

At the end of the Archaeological Site Preservation Course, students will have the skills to understand the theory behind, and types of archaeological survey and to understand associated identification and evaluation techniques. They will also be introduced to the basic concepts, techniques and applications of remote sensing including GPS and GIS. Students will then employ these techniques in support of field work and evaluate the results. Through lecture and site visits, students will become familiar with the types of threats to archaeological sites and will be introduced to approaches and techniques to physically protect and preserve sites. They will be able to identify, classify and prioritize threats to archaeological sites, and organize and present the data on site preservation priorities to support the decision making processes. Classroom instruction will alternate with practical field work.


Survey Approaches: Includes introduction to theory and types of surveys (both traditional and landscape approaches); identification and evaluation techniques; introduction to GIS mapping and remote sensing as concepts.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing Techniques: Includes instruction in the theory and uses of GIS and Remote Sensing and their application at different scales; introduction to software options and types of imagery including georeferencing and rectification imagery.

Understanding and Prioritization of Site Needs: Includes the use of information recovered in the field to assess causes and threats to archeological sites; exploration of subjective, objective and values-based approaches to prioritization; discussion of the roles of stakeholders from government officials to effected villages; and creation effective presentations.

Basics of Site Stabilization, Protection, and Preservation: Includes introduction to options and techniques to physically protect and preserve archaeological sites; roles of non-invasive methods such as structural stabilization, site coverings, and site security; planning and budgeting for site preservation projects. 

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Archaeological Site Preservation
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489