Management of Grotto Sites

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A course on the management of grotto sites was held October 10-23, 1992 in Datong City, the People's Republic of China. The goal of the two-week course, offered jointly by the Getty Conservation Institute and the State Bureau of Cultural Relics (SBCR), was to introduce the principles and practices of systematic site management to a group of senior grotto site managers. The general objective of cultural site management is the protection and preservation of the values that make a site culturally significant. This course was designed to show how the processes inherent in planned management work to achieve that objective. The steps involved in creating a plan for the conservation and management of a site were covered in the curriculum.

Twenty site managers selected by the SBCR participated in the course. The course's principal instructors were Sharon Sullivan, Director of the Australian Heritage Commission, and Steven Rickerby, a private wall paintings conservator. They were assisted by Margaret Mac Lean, GCI Senior Training Program Coordinator.

The course included visits to the Yungang Grottoes, site of a special project conducted by the GCI and the SBCR since 1989. The project is investigating the causes of deterioration at the site, and developing technical solutions to address these problems.


Conservation and the Archaeologist

The Training Program of the Getty Conservation Institute, in collaboration with the University of California, Los Angeles, has developed a course for graduate archaeology students at UCLA. "Conservation and the Archaeologist" is being offered during the 1993 winter term and is intended for students with some excavation experience, but limited exposure to conservation. The course covers such subjects as the ethical, theoretical, and practical principles that guide conservation of archaeological materials; a brief introduction to materials science and how this affects the causes and processes of degradation; the roles and responsibilities of conservators and archaeologists; in situ conservation; documentation methods for archaeologists; and site conservation and management.

The course program includes lectures by UCLA and GCI staff, and a number of guest speakers. The course may become a regular part of the academic program at UCLA, after evaluation, and points to the need for a full master's degree program in the area of archaeological conservation.