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Subject: Course on ancient and historic metals

Course on ancient and historic metals

From: David A. Scott <dascott>
Date: Sunday, November 25, 2007
Summer Course:
Ancient and Historic Metals: Technology,
Microstructure, and Corrosion

Summer School in Ancient and Historic Metals: 2008
Held at UCLA: Cotsen Institute of Archaeology
Monday 18 August - Saturday 23 August 2008

Course Aims: This six-day course will act both as an introduction
and a focus of more intensive study dealing with the examination,
analysis, metallographic examination and deterioration of ancient
and historic metals.  The course is designed to benefit
conservators, scientists  and archaeologists  who wish to learn how
to prepare metallic samples for metallographic study, learn
something of the technological  aspects of the working and structure
of metals, and how corrosion and patination can be discussed and

Artefacts for examination: Over the past 25 years an unrivalled
collection of mounted metallographic samples  has been assembled,
which are studied as part of the course practical work, involving
both polarized light microscopy and metallographic microscopy of
both freshly polished and etched samples. These samples range from
cast iron from China to wootz steel from India, bronze coinage
alloys from the Roman Empire to high-tin bronze from ancient
Thailand, silver alloys from the Parthian period to ancient Ecuador,
gilded copper and tumbaga from Peru and Colombia, to mention only a
few of the geographical areas covered by available samples. Course
participants will be instructed in the use of polishing and etching
in the examination of samples and are encouraged to keep digital
images of the samples they have prepared during the week.  Students
may also bring their own samples for examination if mounted and
ground, or if not mounted, then one or two small samples may be
brought which can be mounted and prepared during the course.

Course Instructor:

      Professor David A. Scott, Director of the MA program in
      Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation.  His book,
      Copper and Bronze in Art: Corrosion, Colorants, Conservation
      won the prize from the Association of American Publishers  as
      the best Scholarly/Art book published in the USA in 2002.
      Professor Scott has published  over 70 papers in the
      peer-reviewed literature and is an Editor for the journal
      Studies in Conservation.

Course Schedule: The course will be held over the six days from
18-23 August, 2008.  The course will be held at the Cotsen Institute
of Archaeology, located in the basement of the Fowler Museum
Building at the UCLA campus in Los Angeles from 9:15am-5pm each day.
The course is open to a maximum of 10 participants only.

Course Costs:  The cost of the instruction for the six days will be
$800.00. For details of payment and to register for this course,
please contact the course organizer and director:

      Professor David A. Scott
      Room A410
      The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
      405 Hilgard Avenue
      Los Angeles CA 90095-1510, USA
      dascott [at] ucla__edu

Course Details:


      Introduction, use of the metallurgical microscope, the
      mounting and polishing  of samples, their preparation, use of
      resins, grinding and polishing.  Introduction to phase
      diagrams and their application to ancient bronzes and copper
      alloys. Copper-arsenical, copper-nickel, and copper-tin
      alloys. Casting and working of metals and aspects of bronze
      casting in the ancient world.  Etching of some copper alloys.
      Recording of samples with digital camera and case studies in
      the examination of a group of copper alloy plaques and a
      bronze figurine of the God Osiris will be discussed.


      Continuation of the examination of copper-tin and
      copper-tin-lead alloys. Ancient coinage alloys of the Roman
      period, examination of copper-arsenic bronzes, aspects of the
      corrosion of bronze and copper alloys. The Pourbaix diagram
      and some of its applications.  The extraction of metals from
      their ores and some principles of the Ellingham diagram.


      The phase diagram for copper-silver and lead-tin alloys.
      Examination of silver and debased silver alloys.  Surface
      enrichment and corrosion. Problems in the authentication of
      ancient silver and bronze alloys. Metallographic  examination
      of ancient silver alloys and techniques of etching silver.
      Discontinuous precipitation phenomena and the age of silver
      alloys. Colour etching of both copper alloys  and silver
      alloys. The Philosopher plate and the Strozzi silver basin:
      case studies from the J. Paul Getty Museum.


      Mounting of samples brought by students. Examination of some
      ternary phase issues in relation to gold-silver-copper alloys.
      The corrosion of tumbaga alloys and aspects of the Pourbaix
      diagram. Video concerning the extraction of iron and steel.
      Introduction to iron and steel.  The principles of corrosion
      and the eight types of corrosion of metals. The examination of
      iron from meteorites. The technology of ancient iron and steel
      in the West, in India and in China will be contrasted and
      samples illustrating these different technologies examined.
      The metallography of ancient iron alloys.


      Corrosion issues of iron and steel.  Weathering steel and
      patinas, the nature of iron corrosion products and their
      implications for the stabilization of iron artefacts during
      conservation treatments. Problems with the examination of
      lead, lead-tin, zinc, and aluminium alloys.  The reasons why
      brass was made by cementation, the extraction of metallic zinc
      and examination of samples of brass alloys.  The use of
      solders and aspects of tinning of ancient bronzes. Examination
      of mounted specimens prepared on the Tuesday, and continuation
      of practical metallography.


      Gold and gold alloys: gilding:  examination of gold alloys.
      Lecture on the technology of ancient gold alloys in South
      America. Continuation of metallographic practical examination.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:33
                Distributed: Wednesday, December 5, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-33-015
Received on Sunday, 25 November, 2007

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