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Fundamentals of Conservation

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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.

MODULE 1

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.

  • Introduction to Heritage Conservation  
  • Safety, Technical and Scientific Skills
  • Agents of Deterioration
  • Photography for Heritage Conservation
  • Computer Skills and Advocacy for Conservation 
  • Home Practicum  - a two-week project carried out in the participant's home institution or a cooperating institution giving the student another opportunity to put new skills and knowledge directly into practice and to begin to improve preservation of collections in an Iraqi institution
MODULE 2

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 them.

  • Review and Presentation of Practicum Projects 
  • Basics of Heritage Materials
  • Risk Assessment and Disaster Preparedness
  • Disaster Recovery for Artifacts
  • Building Stabilization
  • Measured Drawings for Documentation
  • Home Practicum - a two-week project carried out in the participant's home institution or a cooperating institution giving the student another opportunity to put new skills and knowledge directly into practice and to begin to improve preservation of collections in an Iraqi institution
MODULE 3

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.

  • Review and Presentation of Practicum Projects 
  • Documentation of Archeological Artifacts
  • Documentation of Archeological Sites
  • Practical Application of Skills for Documentation of Archeological Artifacts and Sites
  • Final Portfolio Preparation and Presentation

 

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Fundamentals of Conservation
  • The Department of Art Conservation
  • 303 Old College
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-3489
  • art-conservation@udel.edu