Archaeological Conservation in the Field

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Oc logo.gif Objects Specialty Group Conservation Wiki
Contributors: Nichole Daub, Suzanne Davis, LeeAnn Barnes Gordon, Dawn Lohnas, Vanessa Muros, Carrie Roberts, Julie Unruh, and Emily Williams
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Copyright: 2011. The Objects Group Wiki pages are a publication of the Objects Specialty Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. The Objects Group Wiki pages are published for the members of the Objects Specialty Group. Publication does not endorse or recommend any treatments, methods, or techniques described herein.


Begin with a brief summary or introduction to archaeological conservation in the field: on site and post-excavation, content and goals of the page.

Pre-excavation planning

(Including budgeting, researchgoals, team members, supplies, access to electricity and water, system ofrecord keeping, storage, etc.)

Setting up a field lab

include ADG “Conservation toolkit"

Coping with limited resources

(Tips, tools, availability of supplies, non-traditional materials and methods)

General techniques

movable and immovable objects


(consolidation, lifting artifacts, moldingin situ)

Packing and transport

Examination and documentation

(photography, imaging..)

Record keeping and reports

(end-of-season conservation reports...)


(investigative, mechanical, solvent,chemical, aqueous, poultices, pastes, or gels; reduction of surface dirt,grime, accretions, or stains)

Reduction of corrosion products

(for metals.Mechanical, electrochemical/electrolytic, or chemical processes; etc.)

Stabilization (passive)

Stabilization (interventive)

(consolidation,desalination, de-acidification, corrosion inhibitors; etc.)

Structural treatments

(reshaping, removal ofdeteriorated previous structural repairs, structural fills, joining, mending,etc.)

Aesthetic reintegration

(loss compensation,fills, casting, molding, re-touching, finishing, etc.)

Surface treatments

(polishing, coatings, etc.)

Marking and labeling objects






Personal safety and emergency preparedness


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Further reading

Use this section for: additional references or resources not cited in the text, external links, etc. For references please follow the JAIC style guide.
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