Object Conservation

Two women working on pottery tiles with brushes to clean them.

The Objects Conservation Program was started in 1988 to provide professional conservation care for objects found, studied, and stored at the Gordion Excavations. Since its inception, the Program has been committed to advocating preservation so that the collections will continue to be accessible for research in the future.

Conservators play an integral role in the project by collaborating with archaeologists and researchers at every stage of fieldwork. During excavation they assist archaeologists in safely lifting fragile artifacts from the ground, and then assess and treat objects in the laboratory to arrest deterioration and stabilize their condition. Conservators consistently monitor the artifacts once they have been stored or placed on exhibition in the Gordion Museum to ensure their long-term preservation, and provide expertise and support to researchers using the collections.

The Program is also committed to pursuing research that will benefit the site as well as the broader archaeological and conservation community. This has involved exploring methods for removing damaging soluble salts from ceramics, documenting evidence of textiles in metals corrosion, monitoring the environment in Tumulus MM, and cleaning its wooden tomb chamber.

This broad range of activities provides a rich environment for the treatment of archaeological materials, and for the training of conservation students in fieldwork and collections care. The Program continues to provide training opportunities for students in graduate conservation programs.

Further reading

  • Simpson, E. and K. Spirydowicz. 1999. Gordion Wooden Furniture. The study, conservation and reconstruction of the furniture and wooden objects from Gordion, 1981-1998. Ankara.
  • Unruh, J. 2001. “A Revised Endpoint for Ceramics Desalinization at the Archaeological Site of Gordion, Turkey,” Studies in Conservation 46, pp. 81-92.