Conservation of Organic Materials (A’)

Course Code:

Π1 7030Α


7th Semester

Specialization Category:

Elective ( ΜΕ )

Course Hours:




Course Description

Course Theory

The course includes knowledge on the structure and chemical composition of organic materials of animal and plant origin. The theoretical part of the course focuses on the structure and chemical composition of different types of organic materials, and the analysis of the factors and degradation mechanisms of these materials in different burial and museum environments. The course presents the methods used for the systematic and scientific investigation of these materials prior to their conservation. First aid for archaeological finds of organic nature are also taught. The course presents and examines the materials and methods that can be applied at all stages of the conservation process (eg cleaning, consolidation, restoration, gap filling, stabilization), as well as the effectiveness of these materials based on case studies.

Course Practicals

The laboratory part of the course will include the following exercises:

Macroscopic and microscopic features of organic materials;Structure and chemical composition;. Physical and mechanical properties; Identification of various types of organic materials;. Artefact’s technology; Typology of decay; First aid for organic materials, packing and storage methods;.Methods of conservation (cleaning, gap filling, restoration, consolidation, joining, etc.).

The Scope of the Course

The students to understand the following concepts: structure, decay, conservation, promotion, protection and ethical management of archaeological and historical organic materials. Students acquire knowledge to recognize the organic materials of animal and plant origin, and to assess the extent and nature of decay by selecting the most appropriate diagnostic techniques. Students learn how to choose the appropriate methods of conservation, based on the capabilities of each method, and on the objects’ state of preservation in order to preserve the most information t belonging to the archaeological or historical object.

Course objectives

Students have to assimilate and to adapt in conservation of organic materials the basic rules of ethics of the profession of conservator related to: 1st “technical examination, preservation and conservation” of the objects to be conserved and 2nd respect to “the aesthetic, historical, structural, and physical integrity” of the objects under treatment. Through the course, students will acquire skills in instrumentation used for decay diagnosis, documentation of objects and interventions at all stages of conservation.

Expected Learning Outcomes

Students should be able to:

Study and document archaeological and historical organic materials.

Successfully design and implement conservation and preservation treatment of archaeological and historical organic materials.



ΠΑΝΑΓΙΑΡΗΣ Γ., «Δεοντολογικά και Μεθοδολογικά Ζητήματα Συντήρησης και Ανάδειξης Ανθρωπίνων Υπολειμμάτων», έχει γίνει δεκτό στο Ανασκαφικό περιοδικό ΑΝΑΣΚΑΜΜΑ, Τεύχος 3, 2009,


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