Conserving pottery from Kopila – The city of the dead above field of life

Authors: Gloria Loborec; Laura Divković
Mentor: Kristina Kojan Goluža, Assistant Professor, MA

Institution: Art and Restoration Department, University of Dubrovnik (Croatia)
Study programme: Second-Cycle Master's Programme of Conservation-Restoration, 4th year of study
Specialization: Conservation-restoration of ceramics

The island of Korčula, Croatia. Through archeological excavations the arhaeologists in the Kopila area have uncovered and researched a total of 5 tombs, through which the funeral ritual of the people buried can be read in a very illustrative way, as well as the position of this settlement in the civilizational movements on the Adriatic during the last 4 centuries BC. From one of the graves – G7, we got the whole collected material in our studio in 2018. In that particular tomb children were buried through the period of 200 years. The scientific studies of the bones showed that the oldest child was 5 years old. After documenting each fragment and assembling a few thousand shards of pottery, more than 140 vessels of exclusively imported Hellenistic production have stand out from the others (eg. Gnathia-type ceramics of Apulian and Isis production, black-gloss and gray-coated). At the beginning the material was tested to water uptake and then to the varieties of conservation products which showed that we are not dealing with just the sensitive story but also very delicate material. The presentation will show all of the steps of conservation procedure, done untill now, including documenting, assembling, cleaning, filling in the lost material and the retouching choices we made.

Speakers' biographies
GLORIA LOBOREC is a student at the University of Dubrovnik, currently in her second year of graduate studies. Her area of specialization is Restoration and Conservation of Ceramics. She participated in a number of workshops such as: „Safe handling, packaging and display of museum objects“; „Dubrovnik roofs: from raw materials to tiles“; and „Restoration of porcelain“. Gloria also participated in a specialized internship that she attended in Florence for a month for two years in a row. Gloria is currently attending an internship in an external workshop at the Department of Archeology and Monumental Heritage of Konavle near Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Laura is in her fourth year of the Art and Restoration study at the University of Dubrovnik. She specializes in Conservation and Restoration of Ceramics. In four years of studying at University she has attended workshops useful for her field, such as: “Restoration of Porcelain“, “Dubrovnik Roofs: from Raw Materials to Tiles“ and “Safe Handiling, Packaging and Display of Museum Objects“. Currently, Laura is attending an external internship workshop at the Ethnographic Museum ‘Rupe’ in Dubrovnik, where twelve objects from 19th century Italy, will be restored, stabilized and retouched on her campus workshop.