Three interns worked at the Agora this summer in the conservation lab under the supervision of Maria Tziotziou where they gained invaluable experience in the field. Meet the interns below.
Before coming to work in the conservation lab at the Agora Excavations, I completed my first year in the master's program in Art Conservation at Buffalo State College, New York. I am specializing in objects conservation with a particular interest in archaeological and ethnographic materials. I have previously worked in the conservation labs at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, and on the Khovd Project, Mongolia. Working at the Agora, a busy urban archaeological dig, allowed me to build my skills in treating freshly excavated artifacts and to learn more about preventive conservation for objects in storage. Support from the Samuel H. Kress Foundation enabled me to work at the Agora, thus taking an important step forward.
I am entering my second year as a graduate student in the Art Conservation program at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada). This year I was thrilled to be a member of the 2013 Agora Excavations as an intern in the conservation lab. I am a recent graduate of Mount Allison University (Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada) where I completed a BA in Classical Studies. It was through this focus in my undergraduate degree that I first became interested in the field of archaeological conservation. Since then I have been fortunate enough to work as a conservation student at the 2011 Poggio Colla Excavation (Vicchio, Italy), a conservation intern at the Owens Art Gallery (Sackville, New Brunswick), and a conservation intern at the 2013 Caere Excavations (Cerveteri, Italy).
There are many reasons why I feel so passionate about archaeological conservation, not the least of which are the surprises that come with every new day in the conservation lab. Skills involving spontaneity, resourcefulness, and an understanding of the characteristics of an array of objects are all essential for the archaeological conservator and were certainly put to the test in the conservation lab of the Athenian Agora. Over the 8-week excavation season at the Agora I have treated over 25 objects composed of various materials. These treatments, combined with the integrative work environment of archaeologists, museum staff, and international researchers have provided an unparalleled learning experience in the field I hope to pursue after graduation.
I have just completed my second year of a BSc in Conservation of Objects in Museums with Archaeology at Cardiff University. My time at the Agora has been my first experience of engaging in onsite conservation during an active archaeological excavation. Prior to working at the Agora I had only worked on museum collections or objects that had come from past excavations undertaken by Cardiff University. Working at the Agora has been a dream of mine; I have a passion for Greek archaeology and can think of no better place that would be as rewarding to work. The work is very stimulating as you never know what will come offsite on any given day. During the excavation I had the chance to work on all nature of materials including copper alloy, silver, bone, marble, glass and a wide range of ceramics. Additionally, I have had the chance to develop skills and knowledge that will be invaluable in my future career in conservation. My colleagues at the Agora are amazing, not only in a professional capacity but because the staff, visiting researchers and other interns genuinely make the Agora a thoroughly enjoyable place to work.