Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

An Anthropology of Conservation



An Anthropology of Conservation has been devised to determine the different approaches to conservation developed by cultural groups throughout time. The research questions that this thesis addresses are as follows :\ud \ud • Are there common threads associated with approaches to the care of material culture and its conservation?\ud • What type of artefacts do different cultures retain and preserve?\ud • Why do cultures conserve and how do they achieve this?\ud • Does conservation actually exist outside of the remit of ‘modern’ (Western) conservation?\ud \ud Accessibility to literature and artefacts helped to narrow the field of study and the following social groups were selected for in depth analysis representing a range of temporal and spatial variables : Ancient Egyptian; British Regimental Culture; Native American: Roman; Aboriginal and Maori; and Modern British Culture.\ud \ud In order to collect the large volume of information required for this endeavour, a data-gathering tool, in for form of a structured questionnaire, was developed and refined. The tool allows for the critical analysis of conserved artefacts through the viewing of either objects, conservation reports, images of conserved artefacts, treatment-based articles or a combination of the above data.\ud \ud An early hypothesis to emerge focuses on how value is perceived in artefacts and how value influences conservation effort and he point in an object’s life when conservative effort is likely to be attempted.\ud \ud This thesis aims to reveal the conservation systems practised by the selected cultural groups and to critically address the research questions. It is intended that the synthesis will broaden theoretical understanding of approaches to conservation.\u

Year: 2008
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Durham e-Theses

Suggested articles


  1. (2008). 14th triennial meeting. (Committee for conservation)
  2. (1977). Aborigines : Museum of Mankind Discovering Other Cultures.
  3. (1902). Account of the excavation of the Roman station at Inchtuthil, Perthshire, undertaken by the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland in 1901. Edinburgh : Society of Antiquaries of
  4. (2000). Bremetenacum : Excavations at Roman Ribchester,
  5. (2000). Canberra : Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies; Rivet,
  6. (1992). Caring for your collections / National Institute for the Conservation of Cultural Property.
  7. (1994). Code of ethics and guidelines for practice.
  8. (1978). Conquerors and Slaves. Cambridge : doi
  9. (1989). Conservation of glass. London : Butterworths; (Eds.)
  10. (1989). Conservation of glass. London : Butterworths; (Eds.) N icholson,
  11. (1983). Counterpoint in Maori culture. London ; Boston : Routledge doi
  12. (1998). Decision-Making in Conservation : Determining the Role of Artefacts. In
  13. (2006). Demonstrating the Public Value of Heritage. National Trust; Native American Grave and Repatriation Act
  14. (1986). Egyptian Gods doi
  15. (2003). Eighteenth Century Ethnographic Collections in the Hancock Museum.
  16. (2003). Encyclopaedia of the Enlightenment. Oxford : doi
  17. (1983). Ethical Considerations in the Conservation of Native American Sacred Objects. doi
  18. (1991). Frederick the Great’s Army. London :
  19. (1979). Glass’s Guide to Car Values, various editions from 1935-1955. London : Periodical Publications;
  20. (1994). Group Report : What is Durability in Artefacts and What Inherent Factors Determine It?. In
  21. (1983). Handbook of North American indians.
  22. (2004). London : Historic Buildings & Monuments Commission for England; (Eds.)
  23. (1994). Malaysia : Society Atelier Sarawak : Shell Companies
  24. (1999). Museums and the Future of Collecting. Aldergate :
  25. (2000). Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten; doi
  26. (1992). Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten; (Eds.) Entwistle, R. Et al (c1992). Life after death : the practical conservation of natural history collections : papers given at a conference held by the UKIC in conjunction with Ipswich Borough Council,
  27. (2006). New Museum Theory and Practice. Oxford : doi
  28. (2006). Objects : Reluctant Witnesses to the Past. London : doi
  29. (2002). People and things : social mediations in Oceania. Durham, NC :
  30. (1982). People with "Politicks" : management of land and personnel on Australia's Cape York peninsula.
  31. (1993). Pompeii Revisited : The Life and Death of a
  32. (1990). Portrait of a Bibliophile : XXVIII “I Collect and I Preserve”, 1690 – 1755, and Eighteenth Century Book Collecting –
  33. (2004). Regimental Orders of 12 th Yeomanry Bridade Northumberland Hussars; Coote,
  34. (1999). Risk Assessment for Object Conservation. doi
  35. (2000). Roman officers and English gentlemen : the imperial origins of Roman archaeology. London ; New York : Routledge; Hodder, I. doi
  36. (1999). S.(1998). Cambridge and the Torres Strait : centenary essays on the 1898 Anthropological Expedition. Cambridge : doi
  37. (2004). Science, reading, and Renaissance literature : the art of making knowledge, 1580-1670. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press; Stanley Gibbons Stamp Catalogue : British Commonwealth, various editions from 1888-2000. Ringwood :
  38. (1968). SCPR; Society for Post Medieval Archaeology,
  39. (1997). Sequence and Space doi
  40. (1994). Should We Take It All So Seriously? Culture, Conservation and Meaning in the Contemporary World. In
  41. (1995). the American Institute for Conservation, doi
  42. (2000). The arch of knowledge : an introductory study of the history of the philosophy and methodology of science.
  43. (1969). The Art Dealers. London : Hodder &
  44. (1969). The mythical origin of the Egyptian temple. Manchester : doi
  45. (1969). The Northern tribes of Central Australia. doi
  46. (1884). The Officers Troop Book of the 19 th Hussars; Anon.,
  47. (1981). The real thing : imitation and authenticity in American culture, 1880-1940. Chapel Hill : doi
  48. (1996). The Scottish Regiments (2 nd edition).
  49. (1992). The Spirit's Image : The African Masking Tradition - Evolving Continuity. Montreal : Galerie Amrad African Art Publication; Daifuku, H.,
  50. (1992). The Story of the British Museum. London : British Museum Press; Central Statistical Office,
  51. (2003). The Survey Handbook (2 nd edition). London
  52. (1899). Theory of the Leisure Class : An Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.