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Archaeological heritage and handicraft objects

The establishment of the restoration major “Archaeological cultural assets and handicraft objects” goes back - indirectly - to the participation of the Weimar Museum for Prehistory and Early History and the Thuringian State Office for Archeology in the GDR distance learning course “Restoration” at the Museum for German History, Berlin . After this course was closed, the teaching experience as well as the technical expertise could be incorporated into the teaching of the Conservation and Restoration Department of the University of Applied Sciences Erfurt, founded in 1994 - in particular the restoration major “Archaeological cultural assets and handicraft objects”. A long-term, close and successful cooperation between the Thuringian State Office for Archeology and Monument Preservation and the Erfurt University of Applied Sciences developed from this. In the meantime, the major “Archaeological works of art and handicraft objects” has become so well established that the subject of conservation and restoration will set up his own professorship.

Lydia Messerschmidt: Practical semester in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh

The focus of teaching is on the conservation and restoration of finds and handicrafts. Their diversity in terms of design and material requires extensive knowledge of the function, work technology and construction of the objects, as well as the individual material properties and their specific changes through use and damage. The scientific and technological knowledge imparted in the theoretical teaching and the manual skills promoted in the practical workshop work enable the students to properly preserve the objects entrusted to them and to present them in a museum. In fact, we see it as the primary task of teaching to enable our students to think independently and develop adequate treatment concepts. Knowledge of historical manufacturing processes and the various processes of destruction, knowledge of modern research methods and restoration techniques, and a critical understanding of the use of new or old preservatives are all here in synthesis.

Archaeological cultural assets are characterized by a wide range of materials, always in a state of damage caused by soil storage. The material groups include stone, bone, ceramics, wood, leather, textile material, metal, glass, ivory, natural resin, gemstone, pearls and shells.

The range of materials for handicrafts is even greater. The material combinations, which often require different treatment methods than those of the individual components, are also characteristic. From this point of view, it turns out to be particularly positive that the specializations “Glass painting and objects made of glass”, “Mosaic”, “Sculptural work and architecture made of stone” as well as “Wall painting and architectural version” are established as further restoration focal points. The interdisciplinary teaching promotes and demands the examination of the material dealt with there - which often constitutes the handicraft objects and archaeological finds - as well as its conservation and restoration.

The major “Archaeological Cultural Property and Handicraft Objects”, like all other major, has bright, light-flooded workshops with state-of-the-art equipment.

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