Conservator and archaeologist: The role of the archaeological conservator in the field

J. Claire Dean


The title “Archaeological Field Conservator” is, on the whole, readily accepted and understood in Great Britain by archaeologists and conservators alike, but it is often misunderstood and greeted as a totally new phenomenon in many other parts of the world.

This paper aims to explain the function and responsibilities of the archaeological conservator working on an excavation, by drawing on the personal experience of having worked for several years as an archaeological field conservator who started out as an archaeologist.

It will point out the areas in which this specialization differs from that of our museum based colleagues, discuss both the interpretation and implication of Codes of Ethics in the field situation and the inclusion of a non-conservator, the archaeologist, in report on recent projects aimed at increasing the general awareness amongst archaeologists and other conservators of the work of the archaeological conservator.

1989 | Cincinnati