Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions

Historical and archaeological ceramics in a Cultural Heritage materials perspective: from Archaeometry to Conservation Science

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    26/11/2019 15:30 - Europe/Brussels
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions
    Spain, Madrid
    CSIC-Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales
    Instituto de Historia
    Material Culture and Heritage Group and Heritage Conservation Laboratory

Hosting group and Institution

The group Cervitrum (Material Culture and Heritage) is mainly focused on archaeometric research and integral conservation of Cultural Heritage materials. Through this approach it is possible to determine their technology of production, their raw materials characteristics and their state of conservation, which comprises the study and diagnosis of deterioration, degradation, and corrosion processes, either as a consequence of natural weathering (in air, in soil and in water) or by means of accelerated aging processes in the laboratory. The group is also focused on the development of preventive conservation strategies against future alteration and degradation of Cultural Heritage items.

Cervitrum is a multidisciplinary group currently composed of historians and chemists. It belongs to the Department of Art History and Heritage at the Institute of History (CSIC, Spanish National Research Council). The group is positioned at the intersection of Society and Materia within the subject-matter areas of the CSIC internal setup. The CSIC is the biggest public research organization in Spain and it is similar to other European counterparts such as the French CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche scientifique) or the Italian CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche).


Research proposal for hosting

The research will be focused on ceramic materials of different chronologies, either from built Heritage (bricks, wall tiles, roofing tiles, etc.) or from other movable ceramic items with other functionalities (cooking, storage, tableware, trade, etc.). A multi-step strategy based on a balanced weight between Archaeometry and Heritage Science will be accomplished, since it is necessary to know well all ceramic materials prior to know how to conserve them now in the present and then in the future. From a conservation perspective some new protective systems based on multifunctional coatings will be explored and studied; while from an analytical and characterization perspective new analytical possibilities will be explored (e.g. laser induced breakdown spectroscopy at a femtoseconds scale), not only for comparison purposes with more traditional techniques, but also for new analytical protocols in which authentication plays an important role, above all in ceramic materials from museum collections.



The research activity of the group is linked to the Heritage Conservation Laboratory (LACOPAT, https://lacopat.wixsite.com/lacopat), which brings together the necessary equipment and instrumentation to carry out the experimental part of the research, mainly as preparation and observation of samples and accelerated aging of original and model samples are concerned. The group also has good connections with other Heritage Science groups in CSIC since it participates actively within the Interdisciplinary Thematic Platform PTI PAIS-Open Heritage: Research and Society. In fact, the person in charge of the group is part of its coordination team. The GI internationalization is furthermore channeled through the Thematic Network on Science and Technology for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage (TechnoHeritage) and other organizations, such as the Iberian Archaeometry Society applied to Cultural Heritage in which Spanish and Portuguese scholars collaborate together.


Profile for applicants

The preferred profile for applicants should be historians, Heritage scientists, art historians, archaeologists, chemists, architects, restorers-conservators and/or other Heritage agents.

The ideal candidate would be that with a balanced background between history and Heritage sciences, at least as a starting perspective.


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