Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute

Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute MCI is the center for specialized technical collection research and conservation for all Smithsonian
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The history of Coast Salish "woolly dogs" revealed by ancient genomics and Indigenous Knowledge (2023) Science 382 (6676...
12/15/2023

The history of Coast Salish "woolly dogs" revealed by ancient genomics and Indigenous Knowledge (2023) Science 382 (6676): 1303-1308.

A 19th-century dog genome and traditional knowledge illuminate the life, history, and decline of Coast Salish woolly dogs.

10/23/2023

Spring 2024 Collections Internship (Paid) - Deadline for applications: 11/17/23

09/29/2023

In the event of a government shutdown on Oct. 1, Smithsonian museums, research centers and the National Zoo will remain OPEN through at least Oct. 7. The Smithsonian can use prior-year funds still available to us to remain open. Visit si.edu for updates.

NIMRUD RESCUE TEAM BACK IN THE FIELD! We are happy to announce that the Nimrud Rescue Team, under the Direction and Lead...
08/31/2023

NIMRUD RESCUE TEAM BACK IN THE FIELD! We are happy to announce that the Nimrud Rescue Team, under the Direction and Leadership of Mr. Ali Obaed Shalgem, Iraqi State Board of Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH) الهيئة العامة للاثار والتراث Director General for Investigations and Excavations, returned to Nimrud earlier this summer to resume their recovery and stabilization efforts! In collaboration with SBAH headquarters and the Nineveh Provincial Antiquities Office of the SBAH مفتشية اثار وتراث نينوى, through a grant from the U.S. Embassy Baghdad, the Smithsonian is supporting the team in their work to recover the site through 2024. Congratulations to the Nimrud Rescue Team on your return, and best of luck in your work! (Photos credit: Nimrud Rescue Team.)

Introduction to Fundamentals in Heritage Conservation YouTube videos in English, Arabic and Kurdish now available at
07/10/2023

Introduction to Fundamentals in Heritage Conservation YouTube videos in English, Arabic and Kurdish now available at

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MCI looks forward to continuing our work supporting the next phase of a multi-year effort to rehabilitate and reopen the...
05/17/2023

MCI looks forward to continuing our work supporting the next phase of a multi-year effort to rehabilitate and reopen the Mosul Cultural Museum. MCI worked with the Smithsonian Cultural Rescue Initiative in 2019 to assess the ISIS-damaged museum and supported Iraqi colleagues’ work to recover the site in 2019-2020. We’ll continue our support to the larger project with Iraqi colleagues at the Ministry of Culture, the State Board of Antiquities and Heritage and the Nineveh Antiquities Office, plus international partners at the Louvre, World Monuments Fund, and the ALIPH Foundation through capacity building efforts for the Museum staff in 2024 to prepare them for their planned reopening in 2026.

The museum will work with several institutions on the project and expects to reopen in 2026

03/08/2023

Summer 2023 Collections Internship (Paid) - Deadline for applications: 4/15/23

Call for papers. Gilding Textiles: New Archaeological Evidence and Scientific Developments on the Production of Metal Th...
01/04/2023

Call for papers. Gilding Textiles: New Archaeological Evidence and Scientific Developments on the Production of Metal Threads, #468
Dear Colleagues,

We’re pleased to announce the following session “Gilding Textiles: New Archaeological Evidence and Scientific Developments on the Production of Metal Threads” to be held at the 29th European Association of Archaeologists (EAA) meeting in Belfast, August 30th to September 2nd, 2023. Please find below and attached the call for papers; the deadline for submitting abstract through the EAA website is February 09th 2023.

Information on the conference can be found here:
https://www.e-a-a.org/EAA2023/Home/EAA2023/Home
and the sessions under the Scientific Programme tab


Abstracts for oral/poster contribution have to be submitted via an online form available after logging in at submissions.e-a-a.org/eaa2023

Note that the conference will be hybrid, but we hope to see you in person in Belfast next year.

For further information or questions, feel free to get in touch with us:
Caroline Solazzo, [email protected]
Cristina Scibè, [email protected]

Title:
Gilding Textiles: New Archaeological Evidence and Scientific Developments on the Production of Metal Threads

Content:
The embellishment of textiles with metals, most particularly gold, can be traced to early cultures, often seen in the ancient practice of adorning the dead in sumptuous garments. Metal threads were interlaced into the weave structure, attached to fabrics using embroidery techniques, or applied to cloth within ornamental bands (galloon, brocaded tablet-woven and tapestry bands, etc.). Another ornamental technique, largely practiced in both Near and Far East, was the use of gold leaf or powder to paint and print fabrics. The trade and exchange of finished textiles, and the sometimes forced relocation of weavers, led to the transfer of technologies and the establishment of highly specialized craftsmanship and workshops.

Extensive scientific works in the 1990s and early 2000s established the basis for the characterization, description and classification of metal threads. These studies, complemented by evidence from archeological finds, have pioneered the research on the production of gold-threaded textiles throughout history, while still leaving some questions regarding raw materials and making processes unanswered.

This session aims at gathering archaeologists, textile historians, and scientists to convene the latest finds and analytical developments on metal decorations, and discuss future research questions. Papers may focus on:

- Recent archaeological discoveries of gold textiles and metal threads
- Techniques of assembling metal threads: solid metal threads including wires and lamellae, and multi-layered complexes with organic substrates, adhesives and top-coat lacquers
- The making of gold and silver printed and painted textiles: gold leaf and powder applications on already woven fabrics, or to coat yarns
- Latest analytical developments for the scientific study of inorganic (metal leaf and powder, pigments, gilding base or preparation layers) and organic (tannins, substrates, adhesives and varnishes) components, using techniques including, but not limited to: optical microscopy, SEM-EDS, FTIR and ATR-FTIR, XRF, PIXE, GC-MS, LC-MS, proteomics, etc.

Keywords:
Metal threads, Gold, Silver, Manufacturing technology

Brian Michael Lione is the International Cultural Heritage Protection Program Manager at MCI and participated in the Pal...
10/04/2022

Brian Michael Lione is the International Cultural Heritage Protection Program Manager at MCI and participated in the Palmer Leadership Development Program (PLDP) June 2021-May 2022. He completed a rotation with OUSE focused on a collaboration with the National 4H organization, and co-founded the PLDP Community Collaboration and Collections team, designed to serve the emerging needs of the Rural/Tribal strategic plan initiative. Brian will use his PDLP experience, training, and network to enhance his existing international program work and support strategic priorities at MCI, including those related to the implementation of the SI Strat Plan.
Caption: Brian Michael Lione, right, surveying damage to the Mosul Museum, November 2019

Rebecca Kaczkowski is the Preventive Conservator at MCI and part of the Emerging Leadership Development Program’s (EDLP)...
10/04/2022

Rebecca Kaczkowski is the Preventive Conservator at MCI and part of the Emerging Leadership Development Program’s (EDLP) 2020 cohort. She completed a rotation in the Office of the Deputy Secretary engaged with the Strategic Implementation Team, helping to develop resources related to the new initiative, website, and new staff rotation program. Becky is interested in using her recent ELDP experiences to collaborate with a wider network at SI on projects central to the Institution’s, MCI’s, and her own Preventive Conservation Program’s missions: deliberate decision-making for sustainable preservation.
Caption: Rebecca Kaczkowski, 4th from right, in an EDLP tour of NASM construction, October 2021

06/10/2022

Scriber, K.E. II, France, C.A.M., Jackson, F.L.C., 2022. Invasive apple snail diets in native vs. non-native habitats defined by SIAR (Stable Isotope Analysis in R). Sustainability 2022 (14): 7108. DOI: 10.3390/su14127108.

Human ecological impacts on islands: Exemplified by a dwarf deer(Cervidae: Mazama sp.) on Pedro Gonzalez Island, Pearl I...
05/19/2022

Human ecological impacts on islands: Exemplified by a dwarf deer
(Cervidae: Mazama sp.) on Pedro Gonzalez Island, Pearl Island Archipelago, Pacific Panama (6.2–5.6 kya) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0305440322000711

The present study's primary goal is to apply analyses of stable isotopes and tooth micro- and mesowear to the question of dietary change among a mid-H…

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