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CALL. 27.12.2018: Ancient Architectural Repairs and Restorations in the Greek World from the Classic




LUGAR/LOCATION/LUOGO: Wolfson College, University of Oxford (Oxford, England)

ORGANIZADOR/ORGANIZER/ORGANIZZATORE: Jean Vanden Broeck-Parant (University of Oxford)

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During the last two decades, there has been an increasing interest for ancient restorations and, more generally, for the cultural biographies of objects. This tendency, which was initiated in great part by modern conservators, first manifested itself with regard to the study of ceramics but soon spread among specialists in other types of moveable objects. A number of studies have since provided new valuable insights not only into technical aspects of ancient repairs but also into various implications of such repairs with relation to human behaviours, social organization and symbolic, aesthetic and cultural values. Such moveable objects being, most of the time, part of museum collections, they can usually be studied in ideal conditions.

However, when it comes to architectural elements, the situation is quite different. In fact, until recently, architectural repairs in classical antiquity were essentially a ‘terra incognita’. Archaeologists, with the help of conservators, geologists and chemists, have now started to address specifically the issues of materials and techniques that were used in antiquity for the repairs and restorations of buildings. So far, most studies of this kind have been carried out with regard to Roman contexts. The Greek world, it seems, has been left somewhat behind, even though there are a few noteworthy exceptions.

The workshop ‘Ancient Architectural Repairs and Restorations in the Greek World from the Classical to the Imperial period’ will bring together experts from different backgrounds in order to address technical as well as institutional aspects of ancient building repairs. Interdisciplinary approaches are especially needed in the field of ancient restorations. For this reason, we welcome papers not only by classical archaeologists and historians but also by conservators, geologists and chemists that work on relevant subjects, regardless of their career stage.

The participants will be invited to give 20-minute presentations. Papers are expected to present either new evidence on ancient architectural repairs or new approaches to already known evidence.

Keynote speaker: Tommaso Ismaelli (Italian National Research Council, Institute of Archeological Heritage - Monuments and Sites IBAM)

Potential topics may include:

  • technical observations on ancient repairs

  • scientific testing of ancient binders

  • ancient restorations on (architectural) stone sculptures

  • chronology and typology of ancient repairs

  • destruction processes

  • anti-seismic and preventive measures in ancient Greece

  • statistics

  • 3D modelling

  • economic issues (restoration costs, financial means)

  • relevance of literary and epigraphic sources as compared to archaeological data

  • ancient views and values with regard to built heritage

The deadline for applications is 27 December 2018. Please send a short abstract (max. 300 words) with a title (even if not final) and a CV to

Please note that some limited funds will be available for travel and accommodation.

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