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Subject: Course on ancient metals

Course on ancient metals

From: David A. Scott <dascott<-at->
Date: Monday, December 16, 2013
Summer School Course

"Ancient and Historic Metals: Technology, Microstructure, and
University of Southern California (USC)
Monday - Friday, 23-27 June 2014

Course Aims: This five-day course will act as both 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, conservation scientists, archaeologists
and those especially interested in ancient metals 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 microstructure can be discussed and
examined. Artefacts for examination: Over the past 30 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 ancient metals 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 samples may be brought which can be mounted and prepared during
the course.

Course Instructor: Professor David A. Scott, Founding Director of
the MA program in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation at
UCLA, 2003-2011, and Professor, Department of Art History.  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 115 papers in the peer-reviewed literature
and is an Editor for the journal: Studies in Conservation.  Course

The course will be held at the Archaeological Research Center at the
University of Southern California at the Ahmanson Center, Room
ACB335 (ARC Lab) and Room ACB330 (Gallery Room) on the USC campus in
Los Angeles from 9.15am to 5pm each day.  More detailed directions
will be distributed to course participants.

The course is open to a maximum of 10 participants only. Course
Costs: The cost of the instruction for the five days will be
$850.00.  This cost also includes a free copy of the textbook for
this course: Ancient Metals: Microstructure and Metallurgy Volume I:
Copper and Copper Alloys, published in 2013.

For details of payment and to register for this course, as well as
to receive information concerning nearby hotels in the USC vicinity,
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

Course Details:

Monday          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.  We will begin with the simple eutectic
                alloys of silver and copper and then progress to
                more complex phase diagrams to describe the alloying
                systems of 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.

Tuesday         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 in examination of the corrosion of
                metallic artefacts.

Wednesday       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.

Thursday        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.

Friday          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.  Gold and gold alloys: gilding:
                examination of gold alloys.  Lecture on the
                technology of ancient gold alloys in South America.
                Continuation of laboratory work in the examination
                of mounted samples.

                  Conservation DistList Instance 27:27
                Distributed: Saturday, December 21, 2013
                       Message Id: cdl-27-27-008
Received on Monday, 16 December, 2013

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