Track in Archaeomaterials and Conservation Sciences
Material science is, apparently, the earliest scientific-technological discipline in human history. The process of tool making, the use of fire to create advanced technology (pyrotechnology) and their cultural implications make the link between material study, art and archaeology obvious. The study of the processes of material change over time (such as weathering processes, degregation and corrosion) is the basic step leading directly to the science of conservation of cultural heritage as reflected by the material culture.
During the 20th century, archaeology has gone through a series of scientific revolutions. The outcome of the modern approaches was the integration of science and archeology. This process involved the understanding that, for example, the style, distribution, function and exchange of early metal tools can be properly understood only after a detailed study of their composition, forming techniques and origin.
Furthermore, the engagement process of conservation of artifacts can be carried-out only after full understanding of their weathering processes and composition. This led to the involvement of experts and research laboratories in the study of cultural heritage. This resulted in introduction of research laboratories into institutes of archeology, museums and antiquities authorities. At the same time, such laboratories often employed academic programs in order to engage students with large-scale issues of research methodology. The scientist in archaeology and art is required to have a deep knowledge of both the archeology and the history of art, and the scientific field in which the laboratory specializes. This was the basis for the introduction of academic programs in the study of materials, technology and conservation in art and archaeology.
Inspiration meets excellence (Hebrew)