2015 Kaman-Kaleyhöyük Field Conservator's Report

The conservation session for the 2015 excavations at Kaman-Kaleyhöyük at the Japanese Institute of Anatolian Studies (JIAA) took place from July 6 to August 15, 2015. During this brief season, the conservation work primarily focused on the treatment of artifacts recovered during the active excavations taking place at Kaman-Kaleyhöyük as well as assessing and treating objects from the backlog of un-conserved metal finds from previous seasons.

The conservation program includes Alice Boccia Paterakis (Conservation Director), Melissa Mariano (Preventive Conservator), Nichole Doub (Field Conservator), Vale Vafaei from the University of Bologna, Italy (student intern) and Ingrid Gudmestad from the University of Oslo, Norway (student intern). Ceramic restoration was carried out by Elçin Baş.

Conservation of 2015 Excavation Finds

Selection of the artifacts for conservation were decided upon by the excavation staff, including the field students, zooarchaeologist, site director, and registrar. Some selections were based on the input of the field conservator where there was some concern over the stabilization of a particular object or material, particularly a selection of glass beads that showed active signs of deterioration and required surface consolidation. The majority of the conservation treatment focused on the metal finds recovered from the site.

All treatments carried out by the field conservator and the two student interns were directly in line with the conservation guidelines and methods laid out in the laboratory manual.

MaterialCeramicCu AlloyIronLeadGlassBoneUnfired ClayStoneTotal

Site Work

On three occasions, the conservation department was called onto site to assist in the lifting of fragile ceramics and to retrieve samples for off-site analysis. The first ceramic was so badly damaged due to poor firing during its construction and later by accidental removal of its base during the excavation process, that aside from on-site consolidation and some re-adherence of fragments, little could be done other than remove several sections of the remaining body. The second section of a possible ceramic hearth was consolidated and block-lifted. This was cleaned in the lab and stabilized with additional consolidate prior to recording by Elçin Baş. Lastly, a section of preserved wood was sampled for species identification by archeobotanist, Rohan Fenwick.

Preventive Stabilization

In addition to the interventive treatment of artifacts, the Preventive Conservator, Melissa Mariano, carried out condition surveys of the Kaman- Kaleyhöyük collections and the student interns were responsible for the regeneration and replacement of the silica gel, which plays a crucial role in the preventive maintenance of the artifacts in storage. The JIAA preventive conservator has previously established a system to monitor and appropriately house both the conserved and untreated metal finds, which consists of a rotating bi-annual condition survey and regeneration of any expended silica gel sachets.

Backlog Project

The conservation department made a concerted effort to survey the existing backlog of untreated metal artifacts currently in repose in the Kaman-Kaleyhöyük storeroom. It was understood that conservators from previous seasons had made similar efforts, however, the acquisition of a digital x-radiography system in 2014 was utilized by the field conservator to greatly expedite the process.

As conservators systematically went through the store during the silica gel replacement, boxes containing untreated or uncatalogued copper alloy and iron objects were selected for x-radiography. The x-raying process allowed multiple artifacts to be examined together and assessed for possible conservation treatment. Objects were selected for possible conservation based on three primary conditions; that an object was readily identifiable, conservation would improve the interpretation of the object or fragment, and diagnostic features were exposed in the x-ray. This allowed conservators to process hundreds of artifacts per day, make selections that were presented for registration within the artifact database, and carry out the necessary treatments.

As of the end of the 2015 conservation season for Kaman-Kaleyhöyük. All the metals within the previous years backlogged have been surveyed and all 208 artifacts selected for conservation have completed treatment.

# of boxes selected for x-ray32
# of objects x-rayed3722
# of copper alloy objects selected and treated68
# of iron objects selected and treated115
TOTAL # of objects treated from the backlog208






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Nichole Doub
2015 Kaman-Kaleyhöyük Field Conservator

Head Conservator
Maryland Archaeological Conservation Laboratory
Saint Leonard, Maryland, USA