CORDIS - EU research results

European Doctorate in ARchaeological and Cultural Heritage MATerials science

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - ED-ARCHMAT (European Doctorate in ARchaeological and Cultural Heritage MATerials science)

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2022-09-30

The study and conservation of Archaeological (and Cultural Heritage-CH) materials is a research area where the shift from a traditional multidisciplinary towards an interdisciplinary and, eventually, a trans-disciplinary approach is particularly felt. The reaching of a true, innovative transdisciplinary educational approach is at the core of the ED-ARCHMAT Project rationale. The common goal of the ED-ARCHMAT Consortium was to create an interdisciplinary, multisectorial learning network/platform to act as a reference point for ESRs well beyond the successful completion of their PhD projects.
The overall ED-ARCHMAT objectives are:
a) To form a new generation of Conservation Science professionals equipped with transdisciplinary key knowledge, competences and skills from different sectors such as Natural Sciences, Cultural Heritage, Conservation, Archaeology, Museology, Art History, Project Management, IT
b) To help European policy makers, HEI and associations such as E.C.C.O and EnCORE in defining the key knowledge, competences and skills required for independent practice as a professional Conservation scientist
c) To re-discover, un-cover and promote the fruition by society of archaeological and CH artifacts stored (“forgotten”) in Museums deposits through dedicated research projects that will study, diagnose, preserve and disseminate
d) To create and promote an interdisciplinary, multisectoral and sustainable network of HEI, Museums, Research labs, SME, NGOs and CSOs active in the broad CH Materials sector
e) To promote the dissemination of interdisciplinary scientific approaches applied to the study of CH within the scientific community and to disclose to the general public the new advances of science and technology applied to the CH artifacts

The ED-ARCHMAT 13 PhD projects were structured along two main research lines (RL):
RL1 Lifecycle of an archaeological/CH artifact from discovery-creation to conservation and dissemination/fruition
RL2 Innovative and Non-Destructive technological approach applied to the study and conservation of archaeological/CH artifacts at risk

UEVORA, UNIROMA1, BGU, POLITO, UA, UBU and 1 Research Center (CSIC) will act as beneficiaries with Research centers, Museums, SMEs, NGO,CSO and Government Institutions as partners.
The ED-ARCHMAT project is structured along 6 WPs:

WP1 Management and Quality Control. Outputs included the preparation and signature of Consortium and Double PhD degree agreements amongst beneficiaries, Quality assurance and actions and Project meetings

WP2 Recruitment and supervision. In WP2, 13 Early Stage Researchers (ESRs) were selected, recruited at respective host institutions and supervised during their PhD research projects

WP 3 Training and Transfer of Knowledge. In WP3 included secondments in Academic and non-Academic Institutions, Exhibitions in Museums and Research Centres, 6 Specific Targeted Workshops on cutting edge scientific techniques, such as Nanotechnologies and Virtual Reality and 3D technology, Summer Schools in complementary/transferable skills, such as Project Management, Entrepreneurship, Research integrity, and Communication transversal skills applied to the CH sector

WP4 Training by Research. RL1: Sampling in Museums and Physicochemical Characterization analyses were carried out on various archaeomaterials, such as archaeobotanical remains in funerary and domestic contexts (ESR4), copper pyrotechnology in Western Asia (ESR5), technology and provenance of inscribed clay tablets (ESR6), organic residues in Roman amphora (ESR 9), Egyptian animal mummies (ESR10), and environmental biology and animal bones from Phoenician-Punic contexts (ESR13)

WP5 Training by Research. RL2. The development of non-destructive innovative methodologies and testing for cleaning, characterization and conservation included: Plasma/Laser cleaning of bio-deteriorated stones in urban areas (ESR1); biotechnological analysis of proteic compounds in art objects (ESR2); development of a 2D-XRF scanner for CH (ESR3), multidisciplinary approach assessment of the degradation state of metallic artefacts (ESR7); Laser Cleaning of Archaeological bones (ESR8); Laser Cleaning of stained glass windows (ESR11); characterization of biodegradation in cave art (ESR12)

WP6 Public Engagement, Dissemination and Exploitation of Results. The results of the project were disseminated through several channels: ED-ARCHMAT website social media (facebook, twitter, YouTube), scientific publications (47 open-access papers), press releases; participation in meetings/conferences/workshops; participation in European Researchers Nights events

The ED-ARCHMAT project has shown that to move forward in the field of archaeological and CH materials science, it is fundamental to gather expertise from many different scientific fields, apparently incompatible with each other, such as materials science, conservation, IT, statistics, chemistry, biology, geology, and art history, to name but a few
The ED-ARCHMAT ESRs branched out and learned themselves to create a knowledge platform where to apply innovative analytical protocols to be applied to the study of a broad variety of archaeomaterials
One of the main results of this transdisciplinary research was to push forward and ask new questions, by combining existing methods with new strategies, test new approaches, tackle new challenges, open new horizons. The integration and the exploration of new methodological pathways proved to be a complicated journey, but sparkled new directions and ideas that would have never occurred without an international, multisectoral project such as ED-ARCHMAT, carried out by researchers with different cultural and scientific background, interests, expertise, and knowledge.
The ED-ARCHMAT project has paved the way and provided a best practice example for others who will work towards the creation of enlarged and multisectoral communities
Achieved Results and Socio-economic Impacts

- A new generation of Conservation Scientists with transferable multidisciplinary skills and competences has been trained and equipped with necessary tools to be competitive in the job market

- Innovative techniques and methodological approaches in Conservation Science and CH have been developed along many ESR projects, such as a portable XRF laboratory (ESR3); the definition of safe parameters in laser cleaning of stone, glass and bone archaeological and cultural heritage artifacts (ESR1, ESR8, and ESR11); a new methodological approach combining several transdisciplinary workflows merging SEM, XRD, XRF, photogrammetry, measurements of pH and conductivity, 2D and 3D GIS, and micro-CT (ESR7).

- The ED-ARCHMAT project resulted in 47 peer-reviewed Scientific publications/ Congress Communications

- The published results and ensuing worldwide visibility of the ED-ARCHMAT project will stimulate European policy makers, HEI and professional associations in defining the key knowledge, skills and competences needed for independent practice in the field of Heritage Science thus enhancing the job opportunities for graduates in Conservation Science and CH

- A multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, intersectoral sustainable network of academic and non-academic experts in the CH/Archaeometry/Conservation science sector has been reinforced and expanded
ESR7 Project - Manuel Peters doing Field Microscopy of soil samples in Israel
ESR1 project - Innovative cleaning of Biodeteriorated stone- Batalha Monastery - PT
ESR 9 Louise Chassouant extracting organic residue from Roman Amphorae at UNIROMA1
ED-ARCHMAT Field Visit Etruscan "Necropoli della Banditaccia" led by Dr. Andrea Babbi RGZM -Mainz
ESR5 Project - Thomas Rose performing experimental archaeology in Israel
ED-ARCHMAT SS1 NWT event-Visit Museu Nacional Arte Antiga,Lisbon led by its director, Dr. Caetano
ESR12 project -Sriraddha Bhattacharya in situ microbiological sampling in cave environment
ESR3 Project - Sergio Lins testing MA-XRF analysis on Raffaello's Painting "La Fornarina"
ED-ARCHMAT ESRs first joint meeting at La Sapienza University of Rome - June 2019
ESR7 project - Manuel Peters poster at the MetroArchaeo 2019 Conference - Florence,Italy
ED-ARCHMAT Final Conference - Technical Visit Atapuerca arcaheological site-Spain
ESR1 project - Yufan Ding poster at MetroArchaeo 2019 Conference - Florence, Italy
ESR2 Aditya Sandeep Goyal performing DNA analysis on standard painted tablets
ESR8 Md Ashiqur Rahman ED-ARCHMAT Graduation Ceremony - Burgos 22nd September 2022
ED-ARCHMAT Joint Final Conference/Bach Tech week event -Burgos 20-22 September 2022