Conservation Sciences

Head: ao. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Johannes Weber
As an interdisciplinary competence centre at the interface of cultural heritage and archaeology with material sciences, we examine the corrosion and conservation of artefacts in connection with their composition, age, authenticity, and provenance. The main focuses are mineral, textile, and metallic materials, which are the subject of conservation and archaeometric research that subsequently flows into the teaching for students of Conservation and Restoration.

In the field of mineral-based materials our modern equipment is predominantly used to conduct building material microscopy on antique and historical objects made out of stone, mortar, plaster,
and ceramics. We have longstanding cooperations in the framework of EU research projects and have established ourselves as a topranking European competence centre in our field. At the moment one of our main focuses is nanomaterials for stone reinforcement. Currently we are supervising six dissertations. Furthermore, our thermoluminescence equipment for ceramic dating and authenticity checks is intensively used. In the realm of textiles our research is concentrated on dyed archaeological and historical textiles. Recent FWF and EU-funded research was made on Hallstatt and non-European textiles; a current FWF project is dedicated to late antique textiles from Egypt. Additionally, pigment analyses of objects from diverse collections are used, above all, for damage diagnosis and dating in Conservation and Restoration thesis projects. Longstanding cooperations and partnerships in Austria and abroad facilitate leading research and publishing activities and provide access to samples, analysis methods, and expertise, in the event we are not able to cover this ourselves. In this way, we can make an important contribution to solving cultural history questions and offer first-hand expertise to our students.