Conservation Strategies for Archaeologists


Review the role of conservation in the field and in the laboratory for archaeological projects. Discuss planning and preparation for the care of excavated materials. Learn about the condition of materials upon excavation and "first aid" packing and transport methods for artifacts from both dry and waterlogged contexts. Examine artifact preservation and methods to facilitate interpretation. Learn how to perform simple stabilization techniques such as dewatering waterlogged bone, removing chlorides from objects, and consolidating highly degraded glass, as well as exploring tips for mending vessels.

This seminar is offered in conjunction with Archaeological Curation and Collections Management.

Detailed Agenda


Emily Williams, Ph.D., FAIC, FIIC, associate professor in Archaeological Conservation, Durham University; formerly senior archaeological conservator at The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation; research interests include waterlogged organics, the burial environment, and the history of conservation

Evaluation Comments

"[The seminar offered] a nice combination of theoretical background and some very practical tips to use in the field."

"[I learned] different methods for retrieving artifacts responsibly and the ways in which they can be conserved."

"[The seminar included] very helpful information for preplanning field projects and ways to handle surprises in the field."

"[I gained] a solid understanding of what field conservation entails-from planning to management to hands on."


Archaeologists; archaeological lab staff; historic preservation specialists; project managers.

Related Trainings

Archaeological Curation and Collections Management
NAGPRA Essentials
NAGPRA: Preparing for and Writing Grant Proposals

Locations and Dates

In-person seminars will resume in 2023; please check back for updates. Click here or go to About NPI for an update. When scheduled, this seminar is offered in conjunction with Archaeological Curation and Collections Management.

Location, Hours, and Hotels

Confirmation of registration is sent out to registered participants one month prior to the seminar date. The confirmation includes the seminar location, hours, and a list of conveniently located hotels. Seminars generally are held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration is recommended at least 6 weeks prior to the seminar to secure a place and to avoid cancellations due to low enrollment.

Cost (see Register for more information)

$550 (6-week advance registration); $600 (regular registration)
Discounted rates are available for multiple seminars taken during the same week.

Customized/On-Site Training

NPI also offers this seminar as customized on-site training to meet specific organizational needs. Seminars can be tailored to create single- or multiple-day workshops at a location and time convenient to the sponsor. Contact NPI at 703.765.0100 or for further information.

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