Conservation of Archaeological Resources I
Fall Semester 2015
Instructor: Donny L. Hamilton Anthropology Bldg, Rm. 102
Phone 845-6355 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Office Hours: 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Monday and Wednesday or by appointment
This course introduces students to the techniques of stabilizing and preserving deteriorated or corroded artifacts from archaeological sites. Proper conservation techniques are introduced in seminar/laboratory sessions designed to familiarize students with the chemicals, equipment, and procedures used in the treatments. Practical experience will be gained in treating organic and siliceous materials, and the various metals commonly found in prehistoric and historic sites. The emphasis will be on the basic conservation processes successfully used on the most commonly encountered artifacts recovered from archaeological sites.
It must be remembered that the Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL) is a working laboratory. Therefore, all class and laboratory work is expected to be performed between 2:00 PM and 5:30 PM on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Work in CRL outside of class hours is not encouraged!
Primary textbook: the on-line conservation manual, Methods of Conserving Archaeological Material from Underwater Sites by Donny L. Hamilton, at: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/CRL/conservationmanual/
Supplemental textbook: Cronyn, J. M. 1990. The Elements of Archaeological Conservation. London: Routledge.
The latest version of the syllabus and various reading for the class will be posted on-line at: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/anth605/605syl.htm .
Additional Readings, other than those listed above will be assigned on a weekly basis.
The links to the readings and conservation bibliography will be posted on the web and can be accessed by clicking on the links in the on-line syllabus. The index page for the primary conservation manual) for this class can be found at: http://nautarch.tamu.edu/class/anth605/File0.htm
Copies of all readings will be on reserve in the Nautical Archaeology Library and CRL.
Other useful conservation links can be found at: Conservation on Line --
English Heritage -
TENTATIVE SCHEDULE (Subject to Change)
Lecture Class - Tuesday; Laboratory - Thursday
WEEK 1: (Sept 1, 3) - Introduction to laboratory, Chemical Safety, Laboratory Tour.
Note: The Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for materials and chemicals used in the lab are kept in room 102A, and can also be accessed at:
Basic equipment and processes by H.W.M. Hodges
Readings from the CD:
Cronyn, chpts. 1, 2 and 3
The Archaeological Role of Conservation in Maritime Archaeology by Hamilton and Smith
UNESCO book, Chapter A.
WEEK 2: (Sep. 8, 10) - Adhesives & Consolidants.
UNESCO, 1968: Appendix: p. 305-331;
Curt Moyer, The Duco Dialogues;
Stephen Koob, Using Acryloid B-72 for the Repair of Archaeological Ceramics;
SPNHC Leafltets, Vol. 1, No. 2; Adhesives and Consolidants in Geological and Paleontological Conservation: A Wall Chart.
Thurs. - Begin Adhesive-Consolidants lab. Make Paraloid Glue and mix consolidants.
WEEK 3: (Sept. 15, 17) - Bone & Ivory
Reading from CD:
Cronyn ch. 6, pp. 238-245, pp. 275-284
Report I: Adhesives and Consoldants - due by Friday, October 2, 5:00PM
WEEK 4: (Sept. 22-24) - Wood
Archaeological Preservation Research Laboratory WEB Pages:
Reading from CD
Cronyn ch. 6, pp. 246-263
WEEK 5: (Sept. 29, Oct. 1) - Wood (cont.)
Watson, 1982, pp. 237-242
WEEK 6: (Oct. 6, 8) - Leather
Omar, McCord & Daniels, The Conservation of bog bodies by freeze drying, in Studies in Conservation, V. 34, No. 3, pp. 101-109
Waterlogged Organic Artefacts Guidelines on their Recovery, Analysis and Conservation (Read leather p. 9 and wood p.12)
Reading From CD
Cronyn ch. 6, pp. 263-274;
WEEK 7: (Oct. 13, 15) - Textiles, Rope, & Misc. Organic Material
Reading from CD: Cronyn ch. 6, pp. 284-295
Report II: Conservation of Organic Material (emphasis on wood and leather) - Due Friday November 6th, 5:00PM
WEEK 8: (Oct. 20, 22)
Tuesday, 20th, Remove Wood and Leather.
Thursday, Glass, Pottery & Stone
Olive & Pearson 1975:63-68
Read from CD
Cronyn chpt. 4
WEEK 9: (Oct. 27, 29)
Tuesday, Measure wood and Leather.
Thursday, Pottery Reconstruction, and clean lab in preparation for metal conservation. Complete any pending jobs.
WEEK 10: (Nov. 3, 5)
First Exam, Tuesday, November 3rd over non-metals conservation
Thurs. - Start iron conservation: Mechanical, Chemical Cleaning
Metal Conservation: Preliminary Steps in Conservation Manual
Iron Conservation Part I: Introduction and Equipment Sections in Conservation Manual
Reading from CD:
Cronyn ch. 5, pp. 160-200
Week 11, (November 10, 12)
Iron, Electrolytic Cleaning
Tannic Acid by Logan, Judy
An improved tannin-based corrosion inhibitor-coating system for ferrous artifacts by Worth Carlin and Donald H. Keith IJNA, 25.1:38-45
WEEK 12: (Nov.17, 19) - Copper, Bronze, Brass
Non-Ferrous Metals in Conservation Manual
Cupreous Metals in Conservation Manual
Cronyn ch. 5, pp. 213-230;
Weisser, pp. 105-108;
A bronze cannon from La Belle, 1686: its construction, conservation and display, by Worth Carlin and Donald H. Keith IJNA, 26.2:144-158
WEEK 13: (Nov. 17, 19)- Lead, Tin and Pewter
Lead, Tin and Lead Alloys in Conservation Manual
Cronyn ch. 5, pp. 201-213
On the treatment of pewter plates from the wreck of La Belle, 1686 by Worth Carlin and Donald H. Keith, IJNA, 26.1: 65-74.
WEEK 13: (Nov. 27) - Silver and Gold; Composite Artifacts
Silver in Conservation Manual
Gold in Conservation Manual
Cronyn chpt 5, pp. 230-237
Thursday-Friday, Nov. 27-28 - Thanksgiving Holiday
WEEK 14: (Dec 1, 3,) Continue metals - Modern Metals
WEEK 15: (Dec 8) - Clean Lab Day
Last Day of Class
Finish all projects, leave projects at your desk for grading, clean up laboratory.
Tuesday is a redefined day, students attend their Thursday class on Tuesday the 8th.
Ceramic Restoration Exercise due by the start of class Tuesday, Dec. 8
Report III: Conservation of Metals (emphasis on iron, brass, and lead), due by Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 5:00PM
Second Laboratory Exam over metals conservation, Thursday, Dec. 8. Alternatively, depending on class progress, the final exam date may be shifted to Wednesday, December 16, 1-3 PM, the scheduled time for the final exam for this class.
BASIS FOR DETERMINING GRADE IN ANTHROPOLOGY 605
Each student's grade will be based on:
1. Class attendance, participation in class discussions and laboratory activities. Excessive absences (more than two un-excused absences) may result in a lower grade
2. Weekly one question exam over assigned readings (12.5% of total grade)
3. Two exams (40% of total grade, 20% each exam). The second exam to be taken on the day and time designated for the final for this time period. Note, keep this in mind, no early exams will be given.
4. Three lab reports (37.5% of total grade, 12.5% each)
5. Ceramic restoration project (10%)
Each report will emphasize the student's own laboratory experiences as well as pertinent observations and comparisons garnered from lectures, published data and assigned readings. Each report should be as succinct as possible. Each report will follow a prescribed format and will have no more than 15 pages of text, not counting figures, tables and samples.
Report I: Adhesives and Consolidants - due by Friday, Oct. 2, 5:00PM
Report II: Conservation of Organic Material (emphasis on wood and leather) - due by Friday, Nov. 13, 5:00PM
Report III: Conservation of Metal, (emphasis on iron, brass, lead), due by Tuesday, Dec. 8, 5:00PM
Ceramic Restoration Exercise, to be placed on the table by your assigned seat by Tuesday, Dec. 8, in class
Example Grading Scales:
Standard Letter Grading Scale:
A= 90-100 B = 80-89 C = 70-79 D = 60-69 F = <60
NOTE!! - TREATED SAMPLES ARE TO BE INCLUDED WITH EACH REPORT -- NO EXCEPTIONS and NO EXCUSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
LATE REPORTS ARE NOT APPRECIATED AND WILL
BE GRADED ACCORDINGLY. NOTE: NO INCOMPLETES (I) WILL BE GIVEN IN THIS COURSE.
FAILURE TO COMPLETE ALL THE COURSE REQUIREMENTS BY THE END OF THE SEMESTER WILL
RESULT, AT THE OPTION OF THE INSTRUCTOR, IN AN "F" OR THE EXISTING
AVERAGE OF THE WORK COMPLETED.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
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TAMU Plagiarism Policy
The handouts used in this course are copyrighted. By "handouts," I mean all materials generated for this class, which include but are not limited to syllabi, quizzes, exams, lab problems, in-class materials, review sheets, and additional problem sets. Because these materials are copyrighted, you do not have the right to copy the handouts, unless I expressly grant permission. As commonly deemed, plagiarism consists of passing off as one's own the ideas, words, writings, etc., which belong to another. In accordance with this definition, you are committing plagiarism if you copy the work of another person and turn it in as your own, even if you should have the permission of that person. Plagiarism is one of the worst academic sins, for the plagiarist destroys the trust among colleagues without which research cannot be safely communicated. If you have any questions regarding plagiarism, please consult the latest issue of the Texas A&M University Student Rules, under the section "Scholastic Dishonesty."
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"An Aggie does not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do."
The Aggie Code of Honor is an effort to unify the aims of all Texas A&M men and women toward a high code of ethics and personal dignity. For most, living under this code will be no problem, as it asks nothing of a person that is beyond reason. It only calls for honesty and integrity, characteristics that Aggies have always exemplified.
The Aggie Code of Honor functions as a symbol to all Aggies, promoting understanding and loyalty to truth and confidence in each other.
Attendance Policy and Grading Scale Examples
The University views class attendance as the responsibility of an individual student. Attendance is essential to complete the course successfully.
University rules related to excused and unexcused absences are located on-line at http://student-rules.tamu.edu/rule07."