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San Gemini Preservation Studies 2019
Session 1: Monday, May 27 – Friday, June 21 (4 weeks)
Location: San Gemini, Italy



This program aims to give basic theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in the field of analysis and conservation of archaeological ceramics. This course offers a rare opportunity for students to be trained in both disciplines by experienced field archaeologists and conservators while working with original archaeological artifacts. The program is made up of two courses:

Course 1
Analysis of Archaeological Ceramics
Instructor Prof. Elena Lorenzetti
SG 203A (3 Units) syllabus

Led by a practicing field archaeologist expert in Roman ceramics, this course forms the first half of the program. The lecture classes give an overview of traditional ceramic technology and its evolution going from its beginning to the 19th Century. It examines both materials and production methods used over time in the Western world. Classes also study historical typologies of architectural ceramics and pottery that are found in Italian archaeological sites. In the afternoon workshop, students analyze archaeological artifacts from local excavations (6th C. BC – 20th C. AD) and learn to perform the following tasks: identifying and sorting ceramic sherds, performing typology analysis of “diagnostic” sherds, including analytical drawings and diagrams, and cataloging and documenting ceramic sherds.

Course 2
Restoration of Archaeological Ceramics
Instructor Prof. Elena Raimondi
SG 203B (3 Units) syllabus

The second two weeks of the program are taught by an experienced restorer, a graduate of the ISCR restoration school, who specializes in ceramics restoration and conservation. In the lectures and workshop students learn the theory and practice of restoring archaeological pottery, working on archaeological materials on loan from the Soprintendenza Archeologica dell’Umbria. Under the close supervision of their instructor, students clean, restore and document the pottery. In the workshop students learn the following skills: various methods of cleaning ceramic sherds, the reassembly of pottery from surviving sherds, in-filling gaps left in the pottery after reassembly, the aesthetic treatment of the infilling for display and how to document the restoration procedure.

These courses are aimed at two types of student: those planning to become professional restorers or archaeological specialists of ceramics, and those planning to manage archaeological material at excavations or museums. For those planning on a career as a ceramic restorer or specialist, this is a good introduction to the field that will require further education. For those planning to manage archaeological material, it is a good overview of the field that offers insight and experience on how to manage, document and safely store archaeological ceramic material.

Students of the following subjects would find this program useful: archaeology, anthropology, art history, art restoration, field history, management of cultural heritage, museum studies, classical studies and history of technology.

Students participating in this program are required to take part in all courses and field projects in the program.

Archaeological Ceramics Restoration Project

Restorations done in 2012 workshop

Grave goods from Norcia/Coranoni burial 2013

Units are comparable to credits. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for information on obtaining credit for SGPS programs.

Field projects associated to this program:
• Analysis and conservation of classical and medieval pottery from the Archaeological Museum of Perugia
• Analysis and conservation of classical and medieval pottery from the excavation of the Roman city of Carsulae
• Excavation of the Roman city of Carsulae

San Gemini Preservation Studies
International Institute for Restoration and Preservation Studies

203 Seventh Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11215, USA
tel. 718 768 3508