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Course on conservation of archaeological heritage


  • ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property)
  • DGA General Directorate of Antiquities, Ministry of Culture, Lebanon
  • DGAM General Directorate of Antiquities & Museums, Ministry of Culture, Syria
  • DoA (Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Tourism & Antiquities, Jordan)
  • UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut
  • Université Libanaise

Duration: 8 weeks (14 November 2005 - 27 January 2006)

Place: Tripoli and Byblos, Lebanon. Centre d'Études Supérieures Spécialisé es en Restauration et Conservation des Monuments et Sites Historiques, Institut des Beaux-Arts, Université Libanaise.

Twenty one heritage professionals from the countries of Lebanon, Syria and Jordan with backgrounds as archaeologists, architects, specialists in fine arts, conservators, art historians, and scientists.

The aim of the course was to establish and develop professional qualifications in the field of archaeological conservation, and to build the capacity of conservation professionals in the countries of Syria, Jordan and Lebanon. These aims also fall within the ATHAR programme's primary objectives in the area of professional development that include: establishing enhanced professional qualifications, whereby a regional network of adequately trained and qualified conservation professionals is created; ensuring that conservation professionals are involved in management and decision-making of conservation projects in the region; and helping to develop appropriate conservation interdisciplinary training at universities and training institutions.

Course activities
The course consisted of interactive, participatory sessions, both theoretical and practical, carried out in a classroom environment and on archaeological sites. Study visits and some applied work at selected archaeological sites in Lebanon complemented work carried out in the classroom. The course included the following topics:

  • concepts of documentation and information gathering, recording and heritage information management;
  • processes and causes of deterioration, and methods for condition assessment;
  • introduction to conservation theory and related philosophical and international aspects of protection, with particular reference to the Arab Region;
  • conservation methods of archaeological structures and materials in situ: Preventive and remedial conservation measures;
  • site management, planning, presentation and development: Value-based site management processes, and national legal and institutional frameworks.

Main achievements
By the end of the course participants were able to acquire a critical approach to the conservation of archaeological sites by:

  • understanding the basic (international) principles of heritage conservation processes in order to devise informed strategies for the conservation of archaeological sites;
  • analysing existing physical conditions of archaeological sites, diagnosing causes of deterioration, and assessing legal and institutional contexts;
  • recognizing methods for the identification of heritage sites and defining their significance and values;
  • identifying priorities for appropriate interventions at an archaeological site.



updated on: 27 January, 2010