4 December 2018

From Bone to Ivory: Materials Identification Workshop

Two Day course on Cultural Objects Worked in Skeletal Hard Tissue 

Date: 19-20 March 2019
Location: Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge, 

Cost: £125

This is a two-day continuing professional development course designed for those working in the heritage sector. The materials identification techniques used are non-invasive, low cost and can be achieved with readily available equipment.

It is particularly aimed at conservators, curators and object specialists but equally useful for all those involved in the identification, preservation, study, handling or registration of cultural, historical and archaeological collections or people involved in the detection of illegally trafficked materials.

The major learning outcomes of the course include:

         an appreciation of available identification techniques
         understanding of the chemistry and structure of different osseous and keratinous animal hard tissues used in artefacts including bone, antler, various species of ivory, horn, hoof, tortoiseshell, baleen, rhino horn and hornbill
         experience in recognizing the morphological features resulting from these structures
         experience of the use of reflected light microscopy for non-destructive identifications of worked tissues
         understanding of the meso and macro structural evidence needed to identify these materials and to differentiate between them e.g. bone from ivory, different species of ivory, horn from baleen and rhino horn,
         enhanced confidence in cataloguing objects, CITES and similar assessments
         an understanding of other materials used as substitutes, in imitation of or commonly confused with these animal tissues, including shell, coral and plastics.

These skills are taught through a combination of lectures, handling sessions and work at the microscope, and ends with an identification practical. Much of the work will be done in small groups and the number of participants will be limited to enable individual attention, particularly for those who are new to microscopy.

Please note that the teaching space is not wheelchair accessible.
For further information about the course or any other enquiries please email collectionscarecourses@museums.cam.ac.uk.

Booking and Payment
The cost of this course is £125. Lunch and refreshments will be provided. Please book through the University of Cambridge Online Store.
For terms and conditions of refunding please see: http://onlinesales.admin.cam.ac.uk/help/?HelpID=7

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