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Subject: Call for papers--Archaeologist/Conservator collaboration

Call for papers--Archaeologist/Conservator collaboration

From: Kimberly Machovec <kimmelion>
Date: Friday, June 6, 2003
What We Have Here is a Failure to Communicate: Strengthening
Archaeologist/Conservator Collaboration

A Call for Papers

We are requesting submissions focusing on the results of
conservator-archaeologist collaboration. We hope to present these
papers at a submitted session at the annual meeting of the Society
for American Archaeology to be held in Montreal, March 31 - April 4,
2004. Submissions should demonstrate the analytical and interpretive
benefits resulting from collaboration between archaeologists and
conservators. Realizing, however, that this collaboration is not
always problem-free, we wish also to solicit submissions focusing on
the difficulties experienced by both conservators and archaeologists
when working together.

Session Theme: In many cases, collaboration between archaeologists
and archaeological conservators is limited to simple one-way
interaction in which conservators provide a service for the
archeologists--the conservation of recently excavated objects for
the purposes of long-term curation. By engaging conservators in this
fashion, archaeologists meet their minimal ethical responsibility.
This, however, does not need to be the end of the archaeologists'
interaction with conservators.

Many conservators, as a result of the training they receive, are
well-versed in a wide variety of analytical and examination
techniques including microscopic, spectroscopic, chromatographic,
and other quantitative and qualitative methods. These techniques are
employed in order to determine the specific physical properties of
an object, as well as the nature and impact of post-depositional
factors influencing the preservation of an object. This information
is used to plan a conservation strategy; one that stabilizes the
object and prepares it for long-term curation or display. In the
course of developing treatment strategies, conservators often
develop a substantial body of data concerning the details of an
object's construction and manufacture. Though used primarily for the
purposes of conservation, these details also can provide
archaeologists with a wealth of information that might not be
otherwise obtained. This information can, when placed in appropriate
social and theoretical framework, result in much richer and
anthropologically interesting interpretations. This, we feel, should
be the ultimate goal of conservator/archaeologists collaboration.

For the planned session, we ask conservators and archaeologists who
have worked together to present the results of their collaboration,
emphasizing the benefits of collaboration and/or the difficulties
encountered. We are particularly interested in hearing from those
collaborators whose work has added significantly to our
understanding of past technologies and the social contexts of craft
production and consumption. The goal of the session is not only to
synthesize discussions of artifacts' life histories to human life
histories through a series of conservator/archaeologist
partnerships, but also to promote dialog between archaeologists and
conservators in order to facilitate collaboration and further

Deadlines: Interested parties should submit abstracts no later than
August 1, 2003. Authors will be notified of acceptance by August 15,
2003. Because the session proposal cannot be submitted until all
abstracts are in hand, we will not know until November 2003, whether
the session has been accepted by the organizing committee of the
Society for American Archaeology. All submissions should be sent to
Rene Munoz via email as either Word or PDF files
(munoz [at] u__arizona__edu).


    Rene Munoz
    Department of Anthropology
    University of Arizona

    Margaret Kipling
    Winterthur/ University of Delaware
    Program in Art Conservation

    A. J. Vonarx
    Department of Anthropology
    University of Arizona

    Kimberly Machovec-Smith
    Art Conservation Department
    State University College at Buffalo

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:1
                   Distributed: Monday, June 16, 2003
                        Message Id: cdl-17-1-011
Received on Friday, 6 June, 2003

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