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Archaeological Conservation

Archaeological conservation is the profession devoted to the preservation of objects, structures, and sites that constitute the archaeological record. These materials are primary resources for understanding and interpreting the past. Archaeological remains may come from terrestrial or marine environments and can be made from a wide variety of inorganic and organic materials including metal, stone, ceramic, bone, wood, plant fiber and skin. The moment these materials are uncovered, they are at risk of rapid and irreversible deterioration.

Interested in Archaeological Conservation?

Learn more about our
Archaeological Discussion Group.

Archaeological conservators work to ensure the long-term preservation of these materials for future study and research. Beyond the treatment of freshly excavated finds, archaeological conservation includes strategies for ongoing collaboration with archaeological colleagues, adequate curation methods, management of and access to these materials, as well as exhibition and display. Conservators of archaeological material may work for museums or other cultural institutions, teach in academic programs, work on archaeological or historical sites, or work in private practice.


Archaeological Discussion Group (ADG)

The Archaeological Discussion Group (ADG) is a working group within AIC’s Objects Specialty Group and is open to all AIC members with an interest in archaeological conservation.

Conservation Wiki: Archaeological Conservation

The information presented on the AIC wiki is drawn from a number of resources created by the various AIC Specialty Groups, committees, and members. The AIC wiki platform allows for easy and timely collaborative editing and also provides much broader access to these resources, ensuring that innovative methods and materials are documented and widely disseminated to the conservation community. AIC's Archaeological Discussion Group maintains a section of AIC's Conservation-wiki on topics relevant to archaeological conservation. 

Archaeological Conservation Brochure

The Archaeological Discussion Group has created a brochure about archaeological conservation for archaeologists. Printed copies of the handout for distribution can be requested by emailing info@conservation-us.org.

Archaeological Fieldwork Checklist

The Archaeological Discussion Group has created a Fieldwork Checklist for archaeological conservators, which provides a useful way to prepare for fieldwork.