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IICAH participants learn how to excavate fragile archaeological artifacts
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The training overseen by the
University of Delaware at the Iraqi Institute is divided into two levels:
Introductory (Preventive Conservation) and Advanced (Conservation Treatment and
Planning). The Introductory 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 courses are designed as a series
of Modules arranged in four to six week blocks that can be adapted as needed to
the exigencies of working in Iraq and that allow flexibility in scheduling visiting
lecturers coming from abroad. Classroom sessions alternate with labs for the
development of hands-on skills. The scheduled curriculum is augmented by
lectures and practical sessions that will vary depending on the availability of
heritage professionals visiting Erbil.
At the end of this Module students will have a basic understanding of the development of the modern conservation profession; they will know what preventive conservation is and know the 10 agents of deterioration. They will have learned about laboratory safety and key scientific skills. They will understand why documentation is important and be able to write a basic condition assessment with photographs using both a SLR camera and a point-and-shoot camera. They will learn techniques for identification and understanding of materials and gain understanding in the need to follow a process of examination, documentation, testing and discussion. They will gain computer skills and know how to create a basic PowerPoint presentation. They will learn about the importance of conservation advocacy skills and practice public presentation. They begin work on their portfolios, a compendium that documents their work throughout the course.
In this module students will become familiar with the materials
found in heritage artifacts and how they deteriorate. They will learn the
principles and basic practices of risk assessment and disaster preparedness
followed by an introduction to techniques for disaster recovery of artifacts.
They will be introduced to the preservation issues and stabilization of
heritage buildings as well as the creation of measured drawings to document
In this module students will focus on the documentation of
archeological artifacts and sites and practical applications of their skills. They
will also complete a portfolio of their projects carried out throughout the
year and present these portfolios in a final open house.