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Advanced course on the restoration and conservation of underwater archaeological finds

The International Centre on Underwater Archaeology (ICUA) is organising a 3-month advanced training course on the restoration and conservation of underwater archaeological finds, due to take place in Zadar, Croatia, from 26.09.2011 to 24.12.2011. The course is organised with the support of the UNESCO Office in Venice.
This international course is targeted to the practical and theoretical training of candidates for independent work in the restoration and conservation of underwater archaeological finds. In addition to a theoretical introduction, providing insight into the issues of archaeology, underwater archaeology, restoration and conservation, candidates will be also taught specific elements related to the preservation of underwater cultural objects, such as in-situ conservation of features, the administration of archaeological sites and the handling of finds.
Besides the theoretical segment, most of the lessons will consist in mentored practical work at the workshops of the Croatian Conservation Institute (HRZ) in Zadar. Candidates will work with various materials and will be required to complete three main workshops, respectively focused on metal, pottery, and organic finds. Lectures will be given by staff members of the HRZ and ICUA Zadar, faculty members of the University of Zadar, and guest lecturers from foreign institutions. The production of a manual for the course programme is underway, for which the special approval of UNESCO will be sought.
At the end of the course candidates will take an exam in the theoretical and practical segments, after which they will be entitled to a certificate confirming that they have passed our Centre's course for specialized conservators/restorers of underwater archaeological finds.
The course will run for three calendar months.



The number of participants is limited to 6 persons. Eligible candidates should be nationals from the countries participating in the annual Ministerial Conferences on Cultural Heritage in South-Eastern Europe (namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, and Serbia) or from other countries of the Mediterranean. Candidates from other countries are also encouraged to apply, although their applications will be only considered in case of vacant places after selection of candidates from the above-mentioned countries.
Candidates should have completed at least secondary school and have a basic experience in restoration and conservation.
Language skills: participants must be proficient in the English language, English being the working language of the course.

Tentative Programme

The course begins on 26.09.2011 and will last until 24.12.2011. This three-month course will include theoretical and practical lectures by specialized experts and conservators (mr. Mladen Mustaček, mr. Mladen Pešić, ms. Anita Jelić, ms. Antonija Jozić, ms. Tanja Perin, ms. Martina Čurković, dr. Luka Bekić, dr. Mato Ilkić, as well as guest lecturers to be communicated at a later stage). Lectures and will take place within the premises (classrooms and workshops) of ICUA Zadar.

Theoretical lectures:
  • Luka Bekić: Underwater cultural heritage and the UNESCO Convention
  • Mladen Mustaček: The guidelines, ethics and methodologies of conservation and restoration work
  • Martina Čurković: Ceramic, stone and glass finds
  • Antonija Jozić: Metal finds
  • Anita Jelić: Finds of organic material
  • Tanja Perin: Handling, packaging, transportation and storage of underwater archaeological finds
  • Mladen Pešić: The protection of underwater cultural heritage in situ
  • doc.dr.sc.Mato Ilkić, University in Zadar: Underwater archaeological finds
(plus extra classes by guest lecturers).

Practical training

The practical part of the work will take place in specialized workshops for metallic, organic, pottery and glass finds of the Croatian Conservation Institute, the Department for conservation and restoration of underwater archaeological finds. Each candidate will spend four weeks in each of the workshops, in order to learn the correct approaches for processing different material (metal, pottery, and organic finds). In addition to practical work on the archaeological finds, participants will create the required restoration supporting documentation.

At the end of the course participants will take a short examination during which their knowledge from the course will be tested (both concerning practical and theoretical parts of the course). Upon successful completion of the exam, participants will receive an official certificate of attendance of the course, issued by ICUA Zadar.

Participation costs

Participants will receive, free of charge:
  • accommodation (board and lodging) during the course
  • ICUA Zadar manual on Conservation and restoration of underwater finds
  • smock and a T-shirt
  • final certificate of attendance (upon completion of the final exam)

Participants will NOT receive:
  • reimbursement or contributions for their travel to/from Zadar
  • any daily allowance or other forms of additional financial support during the course.

  • English proficiency
  • at least 18 years of age
  • work discipline

To apply
  • send your request, presentation letter and Curriculum Vitae to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it