ARTS(AO)401 Conservation of Archaeological Artifacts - Section B, Nora Marosi, Spring 2020 | SACI College of Art & Design Florence

ARTS(AO)401 Conservation of Archaeological Artifacts - Section B, Nora Marosi, Spring 2020

Course Description

The second level course may be considered a direct continuation of the first semester’s conservation activity. Its main focus is the hands-on practical work performed on ancient Picenian, Etruscan, Roman and medieval ceramic, metal (bronze, iron, lead) and organic artifacts. Under guidance, students are required to do research on active and passive conservation treatments. Students work and document the assigned archaeological items independently and are strongly encouraged to find adequate conservation solutions based on teaching materials and independent research. Proposed treatments are discussed, reasoned and performed together in class. Relevant issues of preventive conservation are also presented. Work performed by students will be a substantial part of the preparative phase for the opening of a new museum in Gaiole in Chianti.

Conservation Projects - Excavation Sites

  • Cetamura – Etruscan-Roman and medieval habitation site – 4th century BCE - 12th century AD.
  • Picenian graves (collection of the Archaeological Museum of Florence) – 6th century BCE
    1. Young girl’s tomb (Atri )
    2. Warrior’s grave (Belmonte)

Schedule

(Please note: you will be informed of any changes to this schedule by your instructor.)

Thu. Jan 16

Introduction to second level course. Selection of artifacts and conservation.

Projects to be assigned to students. Preliminary documentation.

Thu. Jan 23

Lecture on Metal Decay.

Documentation, conservation proposal, begin conservation work.

Thu. Jan 30

Lecture on Metal Decay and conservation treatments.

Continue conservation work, treatment of objects, documentation.

Thu. Feb 6

Continue conservation work, treatment of objects, documentation.

Thu. Feb 13

Visit to Archaeological Museum of Florence (students’ presentations).

Continue conservation work, treatment of objects, documentation.

Thu. Feb 20

Documentation and conservation work at Pisa Waterlogged Conservation Lab.

Thu. Feb 27

Documentation and conservation work at Pisa Waterlogged Conservation Lab.

Feb 29 - Mar 8

MIDTERM BREAK - RESEARCH WEEK FOR POST-BACS

Thu. Mar 12

Treatment Proposal is due.

Continue conservation work, treatment of objects, documentation.

Thu. Mar 19

Visit to Bologna Archaeological Museum exhibit: Etruscans. Journey through the Lands of the Rasna

Thu. Mar 26

Continue conservation work, treatment of objects, documentation.

Thu. Apr 2

Continue and/or conclusion of treatments and documentation.

Thu. Apr 9

Continue and/or conclusion of treatments and documentation.

Thu. Apr 16

Continue conservation work, treatment of objects, documentation.

Thu. Apr 23

Conclusion of conservation/restoration work and documentation.

Final Conservation reports and cards are due.

Requirements

I. You are asked to keep accurate documentation (written and photographic) of your work. This is also mandatory for the official documentation that will be given to the Archaeological Superintendency of Tuscany.

You will have to hand in:

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a) the Official Conservation Card for each object on which you have worked

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b) an additional in-depth Written Report with photographs

The report should be as detailed as possible containing the following facts:

 

·

INFORMATION ON THE OBJECTS (NAME, MATERIAL, PROVENANCE, HISTORY,etc.)

 

·

STATE OF CONSERVATION

 

·

TYPE OF INTERVENTION

 

·

MATERIALS USED FOR TREATMENTS AND THEIR WAY OF APPLICATION

 

·

REASONS FOR TREATMENTS PERFORMED

 

·

DIFFICULTIES DURING INTERVENTIONS

 

·

POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

 

·

SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE MAINTENANCE

 

·

PHOTOGRAPHIC DOCUMENTATION (BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER)

II. Treatment Proposal for one selected artifact *

  • Condition Assessment and Preliminary Documentation (photographic, graphic)
  • Describe what treatments are necessary and how should they be performed indicating appropriate methods and materials (i.e. cleaning, stabilization, assembly, reconstruction…
  • Include objectives and limitations of treatment, benefits, and risks
  • Provide guidance on the recommended environmental levels (i.e. T, RH%, lighting) for the artifact as well as recommendations for display and storage.

The length of the Treatment Proposal should be a minimum of 1000 words but should not exceed 2000 words (max. 4-5 pages)

(*The material of the selected artifact should be different from the other artifacts treated during the semester.)

III. Presentation at Florence Archaeological Museum

Students should prepare a 10-15 min presentation about an outstanding artwork from the collection of the Archaeological Museum of Florence. During our class visit, each student will explain to the group the most relevant historical, technical and conservation-related information of the assigned artwork. The documented research and text of the presentation should also be handed in a written format.

Assessment

Your final grade for the course will be determined by:

  1. attendance*, effort, and improvement - 20%
  2. quality of hands-on work performed in class (precision, care, perseverance) - 20%
  3. accuracy of conservation card, written report - 30%
  4. quality of treatment proposal and presentation- 30%

*Class attendance is compulsory. Only absences owing to a documented illness or emergency are excused by the Dean. Two unexcused absences result in a lowering of the grade by 1/3 of a letter. Two late arrivals to class are considered the equivalent of one unexcused absence.

Readings

Selected readings from the following reference books will be indicated as well as specific sources to allow students prepare ‘Treatment proposal’ assignment.

Archaeological Metal Conservation

1. J.M.Cronyn, The Elements of Archaeological Conservation, London, 1990.
ISBN: 9780415012072 (Retail price: $54.95)

2. David A. Scott, Copper and Bronze in Art, Getty Conservation Institute. Los Angeles, 2004.
ISBN: 9780892366385 (Retail price: $70)

3. Ancient and Historic Metals, ed. David A. Scott, Jerry Podany, Brian B. Considine, Proceedings of a Symposium by the Getty Conservation Institute - November 1991, Los Angeles, 1994.
ISBN: 9780892362318 (Can be downloaded in sections from Getty Conservation Institute website)

4. David A. Scott, Metallography and Microstructure of Ancient and Historic Metals , Getty Conservation Institute - November 1991, Los Angeles, 1994.
ISBN: 9780892361953 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

On Conservation/Restoration (theory)

1. Cesare Brandi, Theory of Restoration, Rome, 1963 (English transl. 2005).
ISBN: 9788840440897 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

2. Chris Caple, Conservation Skills, New York, 2000.
ISBN: 9780415188814 (Retail price: $49.95)

3. Chris Caple, Objects – Reluctant Witnesses to the Past, Routledge, 2006
ISBN: 9780415305891 (Retail price: $40.95)

Readings on Etruscan Culture and Archaeology

1. Etruscans: Italy’s Lovers of Life, Time Life Books, Alexandria, 1995.
ISBN: 9780809490455 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

2. Sybille Haynes, Etruscan Civilization, A Cultural History, The British Museum Press, London, 2000.
ISBN: 9780714122281(Retail price: To Be Determined)

Additional Reading on Cetamura

1. Cetamura Antica, Traditions of Chianti, Edited by Nancy T. de Grummond, Publisher Florida State University, Tallahassee, 2000. (Check also Florida State University's website.)
ISBN: 9781889282084 (Retail price: To Be Determined)

2. The Sanctuary of the Etruscan Artisans at Cetamura del Chianti -The legacy of Alvaro Tracchi , Edited by Nancy T.de Grummond, Edifir, Florence, 2009.
ISBN: 9788879704380 (Retail price: €35)

3. Wells of Wonders: New Discoveries at Cetamura del Chianti, Edited by Nancy T.de Grummond, Edifir, Florence, 2017.
ISBN 9788879708432 (Retail price: €40)

General Safety & Emergency Instructions

Click here for a pdf of SACI's General Safety & Emergency Instructions.

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