The Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL) at Texas A&M University is one of the oldest and best known conservation facilities in the United States. Since 1978 CRL has been a component part of the academic program in the Department of Anthropology and is one of the main research laboratories of the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation. In conjunction with the Nautical Archaeology Program, the laboratory has concentrated on the preservation of archaeological material culture from marine environments, but has the expertise to preserve material from terrestrial sites as well. Over the years, CRL has developed a number of conservation strategies that are used around the world to treat artifacts and are important to any student who has an interest in the preservation of cultural material. Thus the conservation courses are popular with students across the campus.
In 1997, the Archaeological Reserach Laboratory (APRL) was spun off of CRL to concentrate on new conservation methods using silicone oils and other polymer resins. This has resulted in four U.S. Patents being awarded. Because of the pioneering research of CRL and APRL, archaeological conservators from around the world have expressed an interest in participating in short-term, specific conservation training opportunities. The Conservation Training Certificate is designed to meet the needs of these individuals and students who do not, for any number of reasons have the time or resources to come to Texas A&M University for a degree in Anthropology or Nautical Archaeology, but are able to come here for 12 hours of courses in archaeological conservation training. This pertains especially to individuals currently employed by various state, U.S. Government and foreign countries. People in these situations can often get the funding to come here for two semesters during one year or a single semester for two years and earn their Conservation Training Certificate. This will enable them to be granted an official certificate in conservation training from the University. In addition, many degree-seeking Texas A&M University students will take the required 12 hours so that they will be awarded the Conservation Training Certificate in addition to their degree. These courses do not need to appear on a student's degree plan. It is expected that the majority of the graduate students in the Nautical Archaeology Program will take advantage of this option as part of their academic program.
A variation of the Conservation Certification training will be offered to conservators holding degrees or have a number of years experienced that wish to learn new, specialized technologies. It differs only in that the introduction conservation course (ANTH 605) is not required and four hours of independent research (ANTH 685) will count towards the 12 hours required. This certificate is designed to teach innovative and adaptive technologies for the preservation of waterlogged, organic artifacts. An in-depth knowledge of mainstream conservation methodologies and practical laboratory experience are prerequisites.
ANTH 605 - 4 credit hours, Conservation of Archaeological Resources I - Fundamentals and applications of artifact conservation techniques in archaeology
ANTH 606 - 4 credit hours, Conservation of Archaeological Resources II - Practical, hands-on experience on the dentification and conservation of metal and organic artifacts. Prerequisite: ANTH 605
ANTH 617 - 3 credit hours, Conservation of Organic Materials - The goals of this course are to gain hands-on experience in the preservation of organic material culture using traditional and newly-discovered preservation methods. Students will conduct experimentation, developmental research, seminar classes, and applied artifact conservation.
ANTH 685 - 1-3 credit hours, Research - Areas of research may include directed studies or internships at the Conservation Research Laboratory.
Optional Classes for Advanced Students
ANTH 636 - 3 credit hours, Computer Graphics in Archaeology - This class will focus on the acquisition, manipulation, and presentation of archaeological data and images. A variety of state-of-the-art technologies will be employed to develop professional desktop publications, slide and digital presentations, electronic publications, and images.
BIOL 689 - 3 credit hours, Fundamentals of Scanning Electron Microscopy - Students will train in SEM applications and work towards certification for using equipment for thesis/dissertation research.
ENDG 105 - 3 credit hours, AutoCAD/Inventor Class - No prerequisites.
ENDG 407 - 3 credit hours, Computer Design Graphics - This course focuses on the study of Computer Aided Design (CAD) and their role in the design process. Students will focus on drafting fundamentals and archaeological illustrations.
CHEM 489 - 3 credit hours, Archaeological Chemistry - Approval of instructor required.