Conservation in Field Archaeology

Between March 22 and April 3, 1992, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) and the GCI co-sponsored a course on "Conservation of Excavated Materials and Sites" in Israel. The course was designed for professional archaeologists working in Israel. Its objective was to improve skills in the safe retrieval and transport of excavated materials to storage or study facilities. The course also reviewed appropriate techniques for the stabilization of excavated features and sites.

Information covered in the course included: principles of conservation; basic causes and processes of chemical and physical deterioration; specific on-site techniques such as lifting, molding, packing, and handling; selection, procurement, and use of conservation materials under field conditions; and stabilization of excavated sites. Principal instructors included Stephen Koob of the Smithsonian Institution's Freer Gallery; Robert Payton of the Museum of London; Giora Solar, Director of the Preservation Section of the IAA, and Margaret Mac Lean of the GCI Training Program.

Amir Drori, the Director of the IAA, opened the course with an address expressing the enthusiasm of the IAA for the work of conservation in archaeology. He also met with participants at the course's conclusion for an intensive discussion on the policy needs of the IAA regarding site and object conservation.

Preventive Conservation

The GCI's annual course on preventive conservation for museum collections was held May 4-20, 1992, at its Marina del Rey facility.

The goal of the course is not only to provide participants with up-to-date technical knowledge, but also to increase their understanding of the various factors—both technical and organizational—that can influence the implementation of preventive conservation within museums. Participants are taught preventive conservation strategies that take into account and encompass both technical factors and institutional needs.

The course, which has been increased from ten to thirteen days, is designed for mid- to senior-level conservators. This year's course had 20 participants from 10 countries, including: Australia, Canada, Colombia, Hungary, Israel, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela.

Principal instructors for the course included Gordon Anson of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Dennis Brown of intec Facilities Inc., Silver Spring, Maryland; James Druzik of the GCI; Murray Frost of Cultural Building Consulting Inc., White Rock, British Columbia; Mark Gilberg, Nicasio, California; Cecily Grzywacz of the GCI; Gordon Hanlon of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California; Wendy Jessup of Wendy Jessup and Associates, Arlington, Virginia; Mervin Richard of National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Robert Spich of the Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington; and Sarah Staniforth of the National Trust for Places of Historic Interest or Natural Beauty, London, England.