Category Archives: Field Work

Off to Peru’s South Coast – The Corral Redondo Project

This summer I’ll be heading to the south coast of Peru to work on a brand new excavation at the site of Corral Redondo.  This is the first time I’ll be working on an excavation in Peru and I’m really excited for this new adventure, but also maybe a little nervous.  Of course the exciting part is to get to travel to a new place, experience the culture and life there for several weeks, and to meet and work with new people.  But also the bit of uncertainty about the work and the project and what the day to day will be like can add a little bit of stress to starting a new archaeological project.

 

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Map showing location of site in the south coast area of Peru (Map data ©2018 Google, INEGI Imagery, ©2018 TerraMetrics)

 

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“Animal, Vegetable, Mineral?” – Identifying mystery fibers in the field

When conservators are working on archaeological excavations, their work often encompasses many different aspects of field conservation.  This can include materials identification and characterization, lifting fragile artifacts and aiding in archaeological research.  No matter what facet of the project they are involved in, the work can be challenging without the comforts of a well-stocked lab and requires lots of problem solving and improvisation. (continue reading)

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43rd Annual Meeting – Textiles Specialty Group, May 14th, “Lights, Camera, Archaeology: Documenting Archaeological Textile Impressions with Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI)” by Emily Frank

Post I wrote for AIC’s blog “Conservators Converse” on a talk given at the 43rd Annual Meeting, 2015, in Miami, FL.

“Documenting textile impressions or pseudomorphs on archaeological objects is very challenging. In my own experience, I’ve found trying to photograph textile pseudomorphs, especially when they are poorly preserved, very difficult and involves taking multiple shots with varying light angles, which still often results in poor quality images. This is why Emily Frank‘s paper was of particular interest to me because it provided an alternative to digital photography that would be feasible and more effective in documenting textile impressions: Reflectance Transformation Imaging (RTI).” (continue reading)

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Backyard Archaeology at the Villa Ranch House

A blog post written about a class I helped teach on approaches to excavating, stabilizing and lifting wall paintings fragments using replica frescoes. (continue reading)

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AIC’s 40th Annual Meeting – Objects Luncheon: “So Far Away From Me? Conservation and Archaeology” by Suzanne Davis and Claudia Chemello

Post a colleague and I wrote for AIC’s blog “Conservators Converse” on a talk given at the 40th Annual Meeting, 2012, held in San Francisco, CA.

“In the second talk during the OSG luncheon, Suzanne Davis and Claudia Chemello explored the question “are archaeologists and conservators so far away from each other?”, inspired by the sentiment of the Dire Straits song “So Far Away”. Their talk was illustrated with historic photographs of archaeologists working in Tunisia, Egypt and Turkey in the 1920s, from the collection at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan.” (continue reading)

Summering in northern highland Ecuador

As an archaeological conservator, I often have the opportunity to work in the field and conserve objects on an excavation. This summer I returned to norther Ecuador, where I worked in 2009, to be the conservator for the Pambamarca Archaeological Project.  I wrote up a short post on some of the work I did there this summer for the project “Day of Archaeology” (this is a blog where archaeologists or people working with archaeological material write posts on what they spend their day doing) if you want to see some of what I did this summer and learn about what an archaeological conservator does on site.

 

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One of my projects this summer (pictured here) was to continue the reconstruction of a red aribalo (a ceramic vessel used to hold liquids) that was excavated and partially treated in 2009. Here I am working on the area of the rim and neck to adjust misaligned joins. The vessel form is Incan, but the surface treatment and some other characteristics are not. It is thought that perhaps this is a hybrid form of an aribalo which combines styles from the Inca, who conquered the area in the 1500’s, and the local indigenous populations, known as the Cayambes.

 

Archaeological Conservation in Northern Highland Ecuador

I spent this summer working as a conservator for the Pambamarca Archaeological Project (PAP), located in northern highland Ecuador, near the town of Cangahua.  As the conservator on the project, my job was to examine and conserve the finds excavated to ensure their long term preservation and to aid in archaeological research.  Most of the work taking place here is focusing on sites and fortresses located on various hilltops in the region.  The research hopes to understand the indigenous cultures known as the Cayambes, that lived here before the Inca conquered this area in the 1500’s, and also to look at the interactions between the groups after that conquest. (continue reading)

 

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