Role of the Archaeological Conservator in Excavations. The Examples of Good Practice

KALICANIN MARKOVIC posterAuthors: Tamara Kaličanin and Marita Marković
Mentor: Joška Tea Katunaric Kirjakov, Senior Lecturer

Department of Conservation-Restoration, Arts Academy of the University of Split (Croatia)
Study programme: Integrated undergraduate and graduate course of study in conservation-restoration
Specialization: Archaeological materials (3rd year of study)

Abstract

Since 2008, The Arts Academy of the University of Split has taken part in many underwater and terrestrial excavations. The students of archaeological materials conservation of the Conservation-Restoration Department have actively participated in them, focusing on the selection of the optimal conservation methods to be applied in the treatment of archaeological artefacts from the very moment of their discovery. The students have worked on the optimal conservation approach to human remains, ceramics, glass and metalwork already on the site, learning how to handle freshly found artefacts during their lifting and transportation, and how to implement conservation procedures in the laboratory. The objects which were recently moved from their primary archaeological contexts to new surroundings with different climates have experienced abrupt decay. It particularly concerns organic, but also to a smaller extent, inorganic materials. An understanding of the environment the artefact originates from is necessary for the development of the most appropriate conservation procedures and creation of the optimal conditions of its storing and display, but also for the interpretation of the gathered information in the further examination. Having that said, the collaboration between conservators-restorers and archaeologists is fundamental.

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Short biographies

TAMARA KALIČANIN is a third year conservation-restoration student at The Arts Academy of the University of Split, Croatia. She specialises in conservation-restoration of archaeological materials. During her studies she has participated in several underwater and terrestrial archaeological excavations on the islands of Vis, Hvar and Scedro and at the UNESCO site of Diocletian Palace at Split. She has gained work experience in the Museum of Ancient Glass at Zadar. Currently she is working on digitising of cultural heritage artefacts using various 3D modelling programmes and photogrammetric methods, bringing graphic documentation to a higher level.

MARITA MARKOVIĆ is a third year student at the Department of Conservation and Restoration at The Arts Academy of the University of Split, Croatia. She specialises in conservation and restoration of archaeological materials. During her education she has gained work experience at the Museum of Ancient Glass at Zadar. She is interested in the technology of glass and pottery production and has participated in several ceramic workshops. She has also taken part in several underwater and terrestrial archaeological excavations, working on the islands of Vis, Hvar and Scedro, at the UNESCO site of Diocletian Palace at Split, and at the site of Rizinice near Solin.