Archaeological Objects

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Copyright: 2010. The Objects Group Wiki pages are a publication of the Objects Specialty Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works.

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What are Archaeological Objects?[edit | edit source]

Archaeological objects consists of three dimensional materials that have been removed from a burial environment. Burial environments include terrestrial sites (ie: archaeological sites on land) or waterlogged sites (ie: those found under water).

Who Does Archaeological Conservation?[edit | edit source]

The Archaeology Discussion Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works consists of members who practice conservation in an archaeological context (ie: in the field, on archaeological collections, etc.).

Deterioration Factors[edit | edit source]

There are several factors in a burial environment that contribute to the deterioration of archaeological materials. There are two main types of damage that can occur:

  • Physical Damage
  • Chemical Damage

Physical Damage Physical damage can be caused by abrasion, stress, or organisms in the burial environment.

Abrasion can be due to water or wind flowing over the object which carries particulate matter that slowly wears away the surface.

Sea glass that has been abraded by sand.

One cause of stress is the crystallization of ions and molecules that are embedded in the object. Stress can also be caused by objects being stacked on top of each other.

Organisms can also cause phyical damage to an object. This is known as biodeterioration. Organisms that can be seen with the naked eye are called macro-organisms. Examples of these include insects or shipworms. Smaller organisms, such as bacteria, mold, and fungi, are called micro-organisms and caused microscopic damage to the object.

Chemical Damage Chemical damage on archaeological sites can be caused by water, oxygen, organisms, pH, ions, and light.

Water is considered to be a universal solvent. It also acts as a catlyst for many other reactions including hydrolysis and electrochemical reactions such as corrosion on metals. Water is also a key component of living organisms which can cause damage to objects. The amount of moisture in the air is also very important on an archaeological site and can either cause preservation or deterioration when combine dwith other factors. Water also affects the solubility of materials and can weaken joins or repairs on objects.

Oxygen is a key component of an oxidation-reduction (redox) reaction which can cause corrosion. It also acts as a catalyst for reactions and is a necessary part of living organisms.

Not only do organisms cause physical damage, but they can also cause chemical damage. Some micro-organisms secrete an enzymes and organic acids that can damage organic materials. They can also be catalysts for other types of reactions.

The pH of the enviornment is also important and can encourage or limit biogrowth. Materials can also be dissolved by high or low pH's.

Ions present in the soil or water surrounding an object can contain damaging compounds. On waterlogged sites, ions such as chlorides can cause mechanical damage to metals if they are allowed to dry.

Light also causes chemical damage to objects. The energy emitted rom light can be absorbed by organic objects, causing an oxidation reaction.

Preservation Factors[edit | edit source]

There are also many factors that contribute to the preservation of archaeological objects. These include:

  • Little or no oxygen
  • Little or no moisture
  • Low turbidity
  • No environmental fluctuations

Documentation[edit | edit source]

Archaeological Illustration[edit | edit source]

From the moment an artifact is uncovered and undergoes recovery and treatment it is documented, measured, analyzed, photographed and drawn. While advances in photography have allowed for high definition images of artifacts, archaeological illustration remains the dominant form of representation in the majority of publications. Once conservation of an artifact has been achieved, a drawing will be able to provide more relevant, detailed, easily edited, and potentially comparable information than is possible in a photograph. The essential definition of a quality artifact illustration is “…one which incorporates an understanding of the component parts of an artifact with an ability to make an accurate and aesthetic rendering of its character” (Griffiths et al 1990, 1).
What gives an illustration its strength is the amount of information that can be conveyed in a single image. By omitting the detail that renders a drawing realistic and applying a variety of conventions for various materials, archaeological illustrations become interpretive diagrams rather than artistic or realistic portrayals of the artifact (Adkins and Adkins 1989, 6-8). The illustrator can cater the drawing to his or her intended audience whether it is for publication, where a more technical drawing is common, or for museum display, where a more artistic depiction is suitable. This is also influenced by the available technology, and while 3D imaging is becoming increasingly possible, most illustrators continue to use the more cost-effective pen and ink method. When illustrating for publication, drawings make it easier for researchers to examine and interpret the artifact to better understand its use in both a historical and archaeological context.

History[edit | edit source]

The earliest illustrations of archaeologically significant sites or objects appear during medieval Europe. These include simple drawings of predominantly megalithic structures that were widely held to be the work of magic and mythical characters. Interest in such monuments continued into the Renaissance where attention to specific details about the objects began to be incorporated into the picture. This continued through the seventeenth century where topographical recording of objects taken from a viewpoint at or above ground level was the standard. With the advent of scientific thinking following the Renaissance, there was a realization of the need for accurate scientific drawings to aid in establishing various classification systems. This in turn, led to the creation of illustrated catalogues of antiquities as part of the classification process (Piggot 1965, 169).

Section from General Pitt-Rivers’ field notes during the excavation at Acton. [1].

By the late eighteenth century focus remained on architectural or topographical drawings, but the ideals of romanticism influenced many of these drawings, which emphasized the emotion of the scene over clearly depicting the object or site. In the early nineteenth century, technological advances improved the capabilities of illustrators who now utilized metal-plate engraving and wood engraving, as well as lithography for printing illustrations to accompany archaeological excavation. In the twentieth century techniques of printing from photographic originals were improved and supplemented drawing and painting as a suitable means for illustration. Illustrations not only included artifacts and sites, but also stratigraphy and certain features of a site. Once it became possible for photographs to be widely used as a means of “realistic” representation, archaeological illustration became a separate means of analysis based on the illustrator’s interpretation of the subject, proposed audience and the technology available (Adkins and Adkins 1989, 1-7). The advent of modern illustration is associated with the work of General Augustus Pitt-Rivers. His drawings combined a high level of accuracy with artistic shading that is used to this day (Griffiths et al 1990, 6). In the 1960s illustrators in archaeology began to more widely establish conventions and by 1970 the skill became mainstreamed into the profession. In recent years, there have been increased advances in the use of digital and 3D technology to aid in the drawing of archaeological material (see Luo et al 2011; Gilboa 2013).

Common Principles[edit | edit source]

There are many different conventions and techniques that are used for artifact illustration around the world today. Also, different projects, laboratories, and illustrators employ different “in-house” techniques that are specific to that specific person or place (Griffiths et al 1990, 7). Despite this, there are several universal goals within artifact illustration, and a limited way of accomplishing them. These common principles are outlined below.\

  • Orientation – The minimum to be included is a plan view of both sides and profile view, as necessary. If an object is bent it should be drawn as such, but the original shape can be included as well. Conventions for orientation are based on artifact types. For example, pointed objects such as swords or pins are drawn with the tip facing down, however projectile points are aligned with the point upwards. The illustrator should provide as many views as necessary to convey the most amount of information.

  • Scale – It is important to know the scale prior to drawing and how much the reduction or enlargement will affect the details of the artifact (Baker 1970, 11). A linear scale should also be included indicating which scale is being used on the actual illustration for future reference. Most small finds can be drawn at a 1:1 scale, meaning 1cm in reality = 1cm on paper. Very small artifacts, such as beads could also be enlarged to show more detail. For larger objects it may be necessary to scale down as necessary, which can include a scale of 1:2 or 1:4, etc. Most illustrations will be further reduced for publication. It is common practice to draw objects at a larger size, taking into account this reduction that will occur during the publication process (Adkins and Adkins 1989, 196).

  • Outline – There are various ways of outlining the object according to available material. It can be traced directly, measured with an object such as a set-square, drawn using a grid system, scanned, projected, or traced from a scaled photograph so long as the image in the photo was not distorted or taken from an undesirable angle, etc.

  • Views – When including multiple views of an object, it is important for the illustrator to show the relationships between those views. Link lines are used to indicate this relationship, and are typically short dashes to clarify to the reader what he or she is looking at. When appropriate, it is also prudent to include a cross-section of the object. This is performed in a variety of methods, but in the final drawing the cross-section is either blacked in or for some materials diagonal lines or stippling is used.

  • Shading – Shading is always performed with the light source at an angle of 45˚ from the top left corner of the drawing. For different materials either stippling or lines are used to fill in the shaded areas. Shading is primarily used to show the relief of the object and should be kept to a minimum if possible.

On Site Considerations[edit | edit source]

Lifting and Block Excavation[edit | edit source]

The term “lifting” refers to an archaeological excavation method in which the sediment matrix of an archaeological site is included during an artifact’s removal from its primary, in situ source Cronyn 1990. The technique of lifting can be useful when an artifact is too fragile to be removed from its matrix without proper conservation techniques. Lifting is also beneficial if the tools for controlled conservation are not available on-site or are inadequate for a specific material type. In locations where artifacts undergo an extreme change in moisture content from their burial environment to an unprotected environment, block excavation is an especially important protective measure Scott and Grant 2007.

Methodology[edit | edit source]

No matter what the site type, tools and storage preparations should be assembled before an artifact is lifted. Block excavations usually require more space than completely excavated artifacts, and sometimes also require more controlled storage conditions. The identification of artifacts in block excavation should be secondary to the proper removal of fragile material Cronyn 1990.

Terrestrial Sites[edit | edit source]

Before attempting to lift an artifact from its terrestrial site, the object should be isolated from the unit, leaving it as exposed as is possible, depending mostly on the artifact’s fragility. Terrestrial block excavations rely mostly on horizontal support slid underneath the artifact; however, whole vessels also rely on the accumulation of sediment inside the vessel for major structural support. To isolate an object for block excavation, measure the amount of matrix to be left around the artifact, making sure to leave a pedestal underneath for a horizontal support Scott and Grant 2007. Once an artifact is exposed and undercut by a horizontal support system, there are three basic types of terrestrial, block excavation Cronyn 1990.

The first type of terrestrial block excavation relies on a rigid support system. These rigid support systems can be simple: using bandages dipped in plaster of Paris, or they can consist of backfilled plastic containers. Another rigid support system can be created by letting paraffin wax drip over the block to form a hard container-like surface Cronyn 1990. The advantages of rigid support systems of this nature are that they are simple, cheap, and easy-to-use in the field environment. However, they work only in the simplest of contexts, where soil is neither too fine or too hard, and when the artifact is not subject to increased damage. If the artifact needs to be kept damp while being excavated, wet tissues can be applied before the rigid support system Scott and Grant 2007. If an artifact is incredibly fragile, polyurethane foam can be used in between the block and a rigid support system of cardboard, so that the artifact may be inverted after excavation Cronyn 1990.

The second form of terrestrial lifting relies on a support system being directly applied to an object. This is not largely used, at adhesives can directly affect the artifact (see Cronyn 1990 example of a mosaic being lifted using cotton sheeting). The final type of terrestrial lifting is consolidation Cronyn 1990. A synthetic consolidant ispoured onto an artifact, making it easier to remove the artifact from the ground. A consolidant should only be used when there is a conservator directly on-site, and only for specific types of materials.

Underwater Sites[edit | edit source]

The size of the artifact directly affects how an artifact is lifted from an underwater site. One method of lifting larger objects with their attached matrices requires the freezing of the surrounding water. The methodology is as follows:(a) A thermally insulated barrier is placed around the object. (b) Using adequate safety precautions, the barrier is infilled with dry ice and wrapped in more insulation. (c) Insulation is placed over the ice whilst the water freezes. (d) The barrier is removed and the frozen wedge levered from the ground. (e) The wedge is settled into a bed of vermiculite for support and insulation Cronyn 1990.
Smaller artifacts can be packed into a container containing the sedimentary underwater matrix.

Suggested Tools[edit | edit source]

  • Trowel
  • Horizontal Supports (wooden sheets, etc.)
  • Paraffin Wax
  • Bandages
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Plastic Containers of Varying Sizes
  • Auger (for sediment sampling)
  • Water
  • Polyurethane foam
  • Cardboard rings
  • Dry Ice
  • Insulation Materials

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Desalination[edit | edit source]

Desalination, in the archaeological sense, is the process of removing salts (specifically chlorides) from different objects and artifacts. The presence of excess salts in an artifact is dangerous to the structural integrity and stability once the artifact is removed from its environment. If it is not carefully desalinated, the salt crystals will undergo mechanical expansion, causing the original material to fragment and break apart, essentially destroying the artifact. Maritime sites are especially prone to this danger since the objects and artifacts have a higher risk of excess salts being present due to the saline environments. These special conditions make the process of desalination especially important to conservators who deal with maritime materials.

Objects obtain the excess chlorides through contact with their environment. In the maritime realm, most artifacts are surrounded by salt water (unless in a lake, etc.)and subjected to direct contact with the salty liquid. As long as the object stays in the same environment and is not removed, i.e. left in situ, the artifact’s structural integrity can remain (Cronyn, J.M., The Elements of Archaeological Conservation, Section, Page 81). However, if the artifact is removed from the marine environment desalination has to take place lest the artifact falls apart. When excess chlorides are found or known, the conservator goes through a process of desalination to protect the artifact from further damage. The potential danger, if not properly treated with desalinization, is that “the soluble salts [will] crystallize out as [the] water evaporates, [and] increase in volume. If this occurs inside a porous artifact, the pressure can disrupt the material (Cronyn 1990, 23)” and cause potentially irreversible damage.

Desalination is critical to maintaining the objects integrity, but the process can take quite a while. If the artifact is coming from a maritime environment the most common way to achieve desalination is through a series of staged baths. These baths are a mixture of tap water and seawater, usually starting with a 25/75 ratio to safely remove the salts. “In this way the concentrated salt solution within the material diffuses out into the less concentrated solution (Cronyn 1990, 81)” and the object begins the long process of chloride removal. After the bath has plateaued, meaning the object is no longer releasing chlorides and the bath water solution has stagnanted, the conservator moves the object to the next staged bath where the ratio of tap water is increased and the seawater is decreased. This offers the conservator the ability to regulate the process, allowing the chlorides to be removed from the object at a safe rate that will not destroy the structural integrity.

Factors such as the size and material of the object play into the amount of time an artifact will have to go through the desalination process. For example, the cannons brought up from the Beaufort Inlet Wreck, thought to be Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, are subject to years of the desalination process [2] and will not be put on display until they are safely desalinated. To ensure that the desalinization process is safe for the object the “conductivity (which is dependent on the salt concentration) or the chloride ion content of the washing water (Cronyn 1990, 81)” is closely monitored; permitting the researcher to know the rate at which the salt is coming out.

This process is vital for any maritime artifact that cannot be left in-situ. The removal of salts, specifically chlorides, insures the structural integrity and stability of the artifact. A series of staged baths is the most common way to desalinate and prep the object for life out of the water. Conservator’s knowledge of the process of desalinization makes bringing to life shipwrecks, like the Beaufort Inlet Wreck, possible. Safely conserving maritime artifacts is not only an art, but a long process worth the wait.

Treatment of Copper Alloy Artifacts[edit | edit source]

A wide range of treatment approaches are used for dealing with excavated copper alloy artifacts. A small, informal survey of archaeological conservators undertaken in Summer 2015 investigated current practices of professionals working in the field. The summary of results also reveals areas where additional research and perhaps training is necessary.

References Cited[edit | edit source]

Adkins, L., and R. Adkins. 1989. Archaeological Illustration. Cambridge, Great Britain: Cambridge University Press.

Baker, J. 1970. Drawing Archaeological Finds for Publication. London, Great Britain: Clarke, Doble & Brendon Ltd.

Cronyn, J.M. 1990. The elements of archaeological conservation. New York: Routledge.

Gilboa, A., A. Tal, I. Shimshoni, M. Kolomenkin. 2013. Computer-based, Automatic Recording and Illustration of Complex Archaeological Artifacts. Journal of Archaeological Science 40(2):1329-1339.

Griffiths, N., A. Jenner, C. Wilson. 1990. Drawing Archaeological Finds: A Handbook. London: Archetype Publications, Ltd.

Luo, T., L. Renju, H. Zha. 2011. 3D Line Drawing for Archaeological Illustration. International Journal of Computer Vision 94(1):23-35.
Petch, A. 2009. Pitt-Rivers and Archaeology in England. [3] (accessed 03/31/13).

Piggot, S. 1965. Archaeological Draughtsmanship: Principles and Practice, Part 1. Antiquity 39:165-176.

Scott, Rosalie and Tara Grant 2007 Conservation Manual for Northern Archaeologists. Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Center. Revised 3rd ed. Yellowknife, NT.

Further reading[edit | edit source]

General publications

Bourque, B.J. et al. 1980. Conservation in archaeology: moving toward closer cooperation. American Antiquity 45(4): 794-799.

Caple, C. 2000. Conservation skills: judgement, method and decision making. New York: Routledge.

Cronyn, J.M. 1990. The elements of archaeological conservation. New York: Routledge.

Hodges, H.W.M. and Corzo, M.A. 1987. In situ archaeological conservation. Proceedings of the Instituto Nacional de Anthropologia e Historia de Mexico and the Getty Conservation Institute Meetings, Mexico City, Mexico, 6-13 April 1986. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.

Lipe, W.D. 1974. A conservation model for american archaeology. The Kiva 39(3-4): 213-45.

Roy, A. and P. Smith, eds. 1996. Archaeological conservation and its consequences. IIC preprints. International Institute for Conservation Congress, Copenhagen, Denmark, 26-30 August 1996. London: IIC.

Rozeik, C., A. Roy, and D. Saunders, eds. 2010. Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean, contributions to the Istanbul Congress, 20-24 September 2010. London: IIC.

Stanley Price, N., ed. 1995. Conservation of archaeological excavations: with particular reference to the Mediterranean area. 2nd ed. Rome: ICCROM.

Torraca, G. 1982. Porous building materials: materials science for architectural conservation. 3rd ed. Rome: ICCROM.

Torraca, G. 2009. Lectures on materials science for architectural conservation. Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Trust. Available on-line at:

Watkinson, D. and V. Neal. 1988. First aid for finds. 3rd ed. Hertford, Hertfordshire: British Archaeological Trust/UKIC Archaeology Section.

Williams, E. and C. Peachey. 2010. The conservation of archaeological materials, current trends and future directions. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports, International Series 2116.

Archaeology and conservation

Archaeological Institute of America. Archaeology 101.

Archaeological Institute of America. Archaeology books for adults.

Matero F. 2006. Making archaeological sites: conservation as interpretation of an excavated past. In Of the past, for the future: integrating archaeology and conservation, proceedings of the conservation theme at the 5th World Archaeological Congress, Washington, D.C., 22-26 June 2003, The Getty Conservation Institute symposium proceedings series, ed. N. Agnew and J. Bridgeland. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute. 55-63.

Matero, F. 2008. Heritage, conservation, and archaeology: an introduction.

Rotroff, S. 2001. Archaeologists on conservation: how codes of archaeological ethics and professional standards treat conservation. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 40: 137-146.

Sease, C. 1992. A conservation manual for the field archaeologist. 2nd ed. In Archaeological research tools, vol. 4. Los Angeles: Institute of Archaeology, University of California.

Society of Historical Archaeology. Conservation FAQ's and Facts.

Retrieval techniques

Payton, R., ed. 1992. Retrieval of objects from archaeological sites. Denbygh, Wales: Archetype.

UKIC Archaeology Section. 1983. Conservation guidelines no.2, packaging and storage of freshly excavated artifacts from archaeological sites. London: UKIC.

Watkinson, D., ed. 1987. First aid for finds. 2nd ed. London: UKIC Archaeology Section.

Conservation of structures and sites

Agnew, N. and J. Bridgland, eds. 2006. Of the past, for the future: integrating conservation and archaeology. Proceedings of the Conservation Theme at the 5th World Archaeological Congress, Washington, D.C., 22-26 June 2003. Los Angeles, The Getty Conservation Institute.

Ashurt, J., ed. 2007. Conservation of ruins. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd.

De la Torre, M., ed. 1997. The conservation of archaeological sites in the Mediterranean region: report on an international conference. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.

Demas, M. 2003. Conservation and management of archaeological sites. A select annotated bibliography. The Getty Conservation Institute Project Bibliography Series. Available on-line at:

International Council of Monuments and Sites. 1964. The international charter for the conservation and restoration of monuments and sites (The Venice Charter). Available on-line at:

International Council of Monuments and Sites. 1990. Charter for the protection and management of the archaeological heritage. Available on-line at:

Kavazanjian, E., Jr. 2004. The use of geosynthetic for archaeological site reburial. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites 6(3&4): 377-393.

Mertens, D. 1995. Planning and executing anastylosis of stone buildings. In Conservation on archaeological excavations, ed. N. Stanley-Price. 2nd ed. Rome: International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. 121-133

Nardi, R. 2010. Conservation in archaeology: case studies in the mediterranean region.

Nixon, T., ed. 2004. Preserving archaeological remains in situ? Proceedings of the 2nd Conference, 12-14 September 2001. London, United Kingdom.

Roby, T., L. Alberti and E. Carbonara. 2011. Technician Training for the Maintenance of In Situ Mosaics: 2011 Edition. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute. Available on-line at:

Stanley-Price, N. 2009. The reconstruction of ruins: principles and practice. In Conservation: principles, dilemmas and uncomfortable truths, ed. A. Richmond and A. Bracker. Oxford: Elsevier Ltd. 32-46. Available on-line at:

Stanley-Price, N. and R. Burch, eds. 2004. Special issue on site reburial. Conservation and Management of Archaeological Sites. 6(3-4). London: James and James.

Stanley-Price, N. and F. Matero, eds. 2001. Special issue on protective shelters. Conservation and management of archaeological sites. 5(1-2). London: James and James.

Stewart, J. 2012. The stabilization and protection of archaeological sites from natural processes. In Selected readings from a course in the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property ATHAR Programme (Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region): Issues in the Conservation and Management of Heritage Sites, ed. International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. Sharjah: International Center for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property. 83-91.

Sullivan, S. and R. Mackay, eds. 2012. Archaeological sites: conservation and management. Readings in conservation series. Los Angeles: Getty Publications, J. Paul Getty Trust.

Teutonico, J.M. and G. Palumbo, eds. 2002. Management planning of archaeological sites. International Workshop Organized by the Getty Conservation Institute and Loyola Marymount University, 19-22 May 2000. Los Angeles: The Getty Conservation Institute.

Packing and storage

Braun, T.J. 2007. An alternative technique for applying accession numbers to museum artifacts. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 46(2): 91-104.

Charette, S. and D.K. Kimbrel. 2006. Rehousing ancient glass. Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 45(2): 79-87.

UKIC Archaeology Section. 1984. Conservation guidelines no.3, environmental standards for permanent storage of excavated material from archaeological sites. London: UKIC.

Heritage management

Cleere, H., ed. 1989. Archaeological heritage management in the modern world. In One world archaeology, vol.9. London and Boston: Unwin Hyman.

Kerr, J.S. 1987. The Australian ICOMOS charter for the conservation of places of cultural significance (the Burra Charter); guidelines to the Burra Charter: cultural significance; guidelines to the Burra Charter: conservation policy. Sidney: Australia/International Council on Monuments and Sites.

Sebastian, L. and W.D. Lipe, eds. 2009. Archaeological and cultural resource management: visions for the future. Santa Fe: School for Advanced Research Press.

Toman, Jiri. 2005. The protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict. Paris: UNESCO.

Tubb, K.W., ed. 1995. Antiquities: trade or betrayed - legal, ethical and conservation issues. London: Archetype in conjunction with UKIC Archaeology Section.

Wegener, Corine. 2010. The 1954 Hague Convention and preserving cultural Heritage.

Underwater cultural heritage

Pearson, C. 1987. Conservation of marine archaeological objects. London and Boston: Butterworth & Co. Ltd.

Williams, E. and K. Straetkver, eds. 2010. Proceedings of the ICOM-CC Group 11th Annual Conference. Greenville. Available online at:

Databases of stolen archaeological objects

The Art Loss Register.

Commission for Looted Art in Europe.

International Foundation for Art Research.

Lost Treasures from Iraq, Oriental Institute, University of Chicago.

National Stolen Art File Search, The Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Object Registry: Registry of New Acquisitions of Archaeological Material and Works of Ancient Art, Association of Art Museum Directors.

Red Lists Database, ICOM.

Online sources for national and international efforts to stop the illegal trade of antiquities

Association for Research into Crimes Against Art

Cultural Heritage Center, US Department of State

The Federal Bureau of Investigation Art Theft Program

Fighting Illicit Traffic, The International Council of Museums (ICOM)

Heritage at Risk, International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

Object ID, ICOM

SAFE: Saving Antiquities for Everyone


American Schools of Oriental Research

Antarctic Conservation

Chasing Aphrodite: The Hunt for Looted Antiquities in the World's Museums

Colonial Williamsburg

E-Conservation Magazine

Getty Conservation Program

Gordion, Turkey

Illicit Cultural Property

Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Dig Diaries

Mariners Museum

Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory

National Trust – Chedworth Roman Villa

Queen Anne’s Revenge

British Museum

University College London

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