Reflecting on the Theory and Practice of Mosaic Conservation, Proceedings of the 9th ICCM Conference, Hammamet, Tunisia, November 29-December 3, 2005

Lessons Learned: Reflecting on the Theory and Practice of Mosaic Conservation, Proceedings of the 9th ICCM Conference, Hammamet, Tunisia, November 29-December 3, 2005

Edited by Aïcha Ben Abed, Martha Demas, and Thomas Roby


440 pages

PDF file size: 82.6 MB


The ninth triennial meeting of the International Committee for the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM), organized by the Getty Conservation Institute and the Institut National du Patrimoine (INP) of Tunisia and held in 2005 in Hammamet, Tunisia, November 29–December 3, 2005, focused on assessing past practices of mosaic conservation, both in situ and in museums.

This handsome, plentifully illustrated proceedings volume provides a comprehensive record of the conference. The volume’s fifty-three papers, with contributions from over eighty leading professionals in the field, reflect the conference’s principal themes: Evaluating Mosaic Practice, Caring for Mosaics in Museums, Documenting and Assessing Sites at Risk, Managing Sites with Mosaics, Sheltering Mosaics, Training of Conservation Practitioners, and Case Studies. Papers are presented in either English or French, with abstracts of all papers in both languages. The volume will be of interest to conservators and site managers as well as art historians and archaeologists of the Roman world.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword / Avant-propos
    Timothy P. Whalen and Mohammed Béji Ben Mami
  • Acknowledgments / Remerciements
    Aïcha Ben Abed, Martha Demas, and Thomas Roby
  • Opening Remarks of the President of the ICCM on the Occasion of the 9th Conference / Allocution d’ouverture du Président de l’ICCM à l’occasion de la 9e Conférence
    Demetrios Michaelides
  • Introduction / Introduction
    Aïcha Ben Abed, Martha Demas, and Thomas Roby
    Evaluating Mosaic Practice
    • Mosaic Conservation: Fifty Years of Modern Practice
      Gaël de Guichen and Roberto Nardi
    • Learning from Past Interventions: Evaluation of the Project to Conserve the Orpheus
    • Mosaic at Paphos, Cyprus
      Martha Demas, Thomas Roby, Neville Agnew, Giorgio Capriotti, Niki Savvides, and Demetrios Michaelides
    • Bilan d’opérations réalisées par l’Atelier de Saint-Romain-en-Gal
      Évelyne Chantriaux, Marion Hayes, Christophe Laporte, Andréas Phoungas et Maurice Simon
    • Learning from the Literature: A Review of Published Works on Mosaic Deterioration and Conservation Treatments
      Francesca Piqué, Rachel Burch, Thomas Roby, and Martha Demas
    • Orbe-Boscéaz (Canton de Vaud, Suisse) 1975–2005: 30 ans de réflexions sur la conservation d’anciennes et de nouvelles mosaïques
      Denis Weidmann
    • Villa of the Birds Five Years Later: Early Roman Mosaics in Alexandria, Egypt
      Jarostaw Dobrowolski
    • Lessons Learned in Theory and Practice of Mosaic Treatments: The Case of the Wall
    • Mosaics in the Church of the Holy Apostles, Thessaloniki, Greece
      Charalambos Bakirtzis, Pelagia Mastora, Styliani Vassiliadou, and Nikos Pitsalidis
    • Discussion
    Caring for Mosaics in Museums
    • Conservation et restauration des mosaïques romaines au Portugal—Quelques exemples dans les collections de musées
      Maria de Fátima Abraços
    • Conservation d’un ensemble d’emblemata du Musée Archéologique National
      Carmen Dávila Buitrón et M. Antonia Moreno Cifuentes
    • Inadequate Storage Conditions: Causes of Deterioration of Mosaics in a Museum Environment
      Maja Frankovic
    • Coopération algéro-française pour la préservation de collections anciennes de mosaïques des musées algériens
      Marie-Laure Courboulès, Abdelkader Bensalah, Mouloud Derram et Mohamed Chérif Hamza
    • Conservation and Display of Three Mosaics in the Greco-Roman Museum, Alexandria, Egypt
      Robert (Chip) Vincent
    • Where Theory Meets Practice: The Conservation and Presentation of a Roman Floor Mosaic at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
      C. Mei-An Tsu, Pamela Hatchfield, Christine Kondoleon, and Craig Barnes
    • Discussion
    Documenting and Assessing Sites at Risk
    • The Mosaic Corpus of Turkey: A New International Research Project
      Mustafa Sahin, Derya Sahin, David Parrish, and Werner Jobst
    • La gestion des pavements de mosaïques découverts fortuitement : Déposer ou conserver in situ?
      Fathi Bejaoui
    • Mosaic Floors Unearthed at Rescue Excavations in Turkey: A Philosophical and
    • Ethical Evaluation of the Decision-Making Process
      Hande Kökten
    Managing Sites with Mosaics
    • Conservation and Preservation of Mosaics in Syria: The Case for a Multidisciplinary Approach—or New Strategies for Old Problems
      Amr Nawar Al Muayyad Al-Azm
    • Um Er-Rasas (Um Al-Rasas): Preservation of the Mosaics at a New World Heritage Site in Jordan
      Mervat Ma’moun Ha’obsh
    • Conservation and Restoration of the Nikopolis Mosaics: A Program for Integrated Management and Presentation of the Archaeological Site
      Konstantinos L. Zachos
    • Les mosaïques de Volubilis (Maroc) : Planification de la conservation et de la gestion
      Hassan Limane et Gaetano Palumbo
    • The Legacy of Nora, Sardinia: A Project for the Conservation, Restoration, and Maintenance of Mosaics
      Chiara Zizola
    • Discussion
    Sheltering Mosaics
    • Rapid Assessment of Shelters over Mosaics: Methodology and Initial Results from England
      John Stewart
    • Rapid Assessment of Shelters over Mosaics: Initial Results from Israel
      Jacques Neguer and Yael Alef
    • Protective Shelters over Archaeological Sites: A Review of Assessment Initiatives
      Sibylla Tringham and John Stewart
    • Lessons Not Learned: The Shelters at Kourion, Cyprus
      Demetrios Michaelides and Niki Savvides
    • Une nouvelle approche pour la préservation in situ des mosaïques et vestiges archéologiques au Liban : La crypte de l’église Saint-Georges à Beyrouth
      Isabelle Skaf et Yasmine Makaroun Bou Assaf
    • 140 Years of Mosaic Conservation at Chedworth Roman Villa, United Kingdom
      Philip Bethell
    • Discussion
    Training of Conservation Practitioners
    • Questions d’actualité : La conservation des mosaïques dans le territoire de Gaza, formation de personnel et travaux d’intervention et de préservation des mosaïques in situ
      Patrick Blanc et Hani Najar
    • Experiences in Mosaic Conservation Training in the Middle East
      Osama Hamdan, Tagrid Shaaban, and Carla Benelli
    • Training of Technicians for the Maintenance of in Situ Mosaics: An Assessment of the Tunisian Initiative after Three Years
      Thomas Roby, Livia Alberti, Elsa Bourguignon, and Aïcha Ben Abed
    • Une stratégie tunisienne pour conserver la mosaïque
      Aïcha Ben Abed
    • Discussion
    Case Studies
    • The Study of Hydraulic Lime Mortars for the Conservation of Mosaics
      Michele Macchiarola and Gianluigi Fiorella
    • Reburial versus Sheltering: Experiments in Preventive Conservation of the Mosaics in the Roman Villa of Rabaçal, Penela, Portugal
    • José Lourenço Gonçalves
    • Consolidation in situ de la mosaïque de la grande basilique de Tipasa, Algérie
      Sabah Ferdi et Mohamed Chérif Hamza
    • Les mosaïques de Lambèse, Algérie
      Amina-Aïcha Malek et Marie-Laure Courboulès
    • La mosaïque de Grand (Vosges, France) : Un exemple ancien pour la conservation des vestiges archéologiques sur site
      Patrick Blanc
    • Backing Roman Mosaics with Glass Fiber Reinforced Cement
      Kent Severson and Diane Fullick
    • Discussion
    Summary Conclusions and Recommendations
    • Summary Conclusions and Recommendations / Conclusions et recommendations
      Jeanne Marie Teutonico and Roberto Nardi
    • Mosaic Icons in Greece: Techniques and Methods of Conservation
      Panayota Assimakopopoulou-Atzaka, Eleni Chrysafi, Christine Papakyriakou, Magda Parcharidou-Anagnostou, and Anastassia Pliota
    • emblem découvert en mer, au large d’Agde : Technique de fabrication—traitement de conservation
      Luc Long, Véronique Blanc-Bijon, Patrick Blanc et Marie-Laure Courboulès
    • La restauration de la mosaïque du VIe siècle de Qabr Hiram (Liban) par l’atelier de restauration de mosaïques de Saint-Romain-en-Gal
      Évelyne Chantriaux, Marion Hayes, Christophe Laporte, Andréas Phoungas et Maurice Simon
    • Study of the Mineralogical and Chemical Characteristics of Materials Used in the Construction of Roman Mosaics in Volubilis, Morocco, with a View toward Their Conservation
      Abdelilah Dekayir, Marc Amouric, Juan Olives, and Abdelkader Chergui
    • The Lifting Procedure of the Bacchus Mosaic from the Roman Villa in Barrio Jarana, Cádiz, Spain
      Salvador Domínguez-Bella, Maria Luisa Millán Salgado, and Ana Durante Macias
    • Comparison of Conventional and Photogrammetric Documentation of Mosaics at the Agora of Perge
      Işil R. Işiklikaya
    • Un emblem a provenant d’Utique conservé au Musée du Louvre
      Laurence Krougly et J. M. Monraval
    • The Project for the Conservation, Maintenance, and Utilization of the Pavement of the Cathedral in Spoleto, Italy
      Ilaria Pennati, Carlo Lalli, Annamaria Giusti, Giancarlo Raddi delle Ruote, Giordana Benazzi, and Michele Macchiarola
    • Problématique posée par les réintégrations des lacunes dans la mosaïque des Monstres marins de Lambèse-Tazoult, Algérie
      Aurélie Martin
    • The Byzantine Painted Floor in Salamiya Syria: Possibilities for Conservation and Presentation
      Ewa Parandowska
    • The Syrian Mosaic Pavement Documentation Training Program
      Konstantinos D. Politis, Amr Nawar Al Muayyad Al-Azm, and Charalambos Bakirtzis
    • Étude sur l’état de conservation des mosaïques du Musée National d’Iran à partir de vestiges du site archéologique sassanide de Bîchâpour
      Elyas Saffaran
    • Archaeometric Analysis and Weathering Effects on Pompeii’s Nymphaea Mosaics
      Cristina Boschetti, Anna Corradi, Bruno Fabbri, Cristina Leonelli, Michele Macchiarola, Andrea Ruffini, Sara Santoro, and Paolo Veronesi
    • An Assessment of Recent in Situ Conservation Treatments of Mosaics in Turkey
      Y. Selçuk Sener
    • An Evaluation of the Preservation of Reburied Mosaics in Cilicia
      Füsun Tülek
    • The Lifting of a Mosaic from the Site of Letoon and Its Replacement with a Replica
      Sehrigül Yeşil Erdek
  • Authors / Auteurs
  • List of Conference Participants/Liste des participants à la conférence

About the Authors

Aïcha Ben Abed est directrice des monuments et des sites à l’lnstitut National du Patrimoine. Elle est responsable de quatre sites antiques et codirige trois fouilles tuniso-françaises. Ancien conservateur du Musée du Bardo, elle est auteur et co-auteur de six fascicules du Corpus des mosaïques de Tunisie et de plusieurs ouvrages et articles sur l’architecture domestique et les mosaïques tunisiennes. Elle est l’initiatrice d’une collaboration INP-GCI visant à former des techniciens à la restauration de mosaïques in situ.

Martha Demas is a senior project specialist at the Getty Conservation Institute. She received her Ph.D. in Aegean archaeology from the University of Cincinnati and an M.A. in historic preservation at Cornell University, specializing in the conservation of archaeological heritage. In addition to the GCl’s Mosaics in Situ Project, she is currently involved in conservation projects in China and Egypt.

Thomas Roby is an architectural conservator with training from the University of Virginia, the University of York, and ICCROM. He has worked for twenty years on archaeological sites in the Mediterranaean area, primarily as a private conservator on excavation projects. Since 2001 he has worked for the Getty Conservation Institute and has managed the training project for mosaic maintenance technicians in collaboration with the Institut National du Patrimoine of Tunisia.