IICAS and the Nara National Research Institute for Cultural Properties (NABUNKEN, Japan) organised a two-day (6th and 7th December 2022) seminar on the post-excavation scientific analysis of archaeological material at the Samarkand State Museum of Cultural History of Uzbekistan. This is a part of a collaborative project called MEROS (Mutual Engagement in aRchaeOlogical heritage and Science) co-organised by IICAS, NABUNKEN, the Japanese Agency of Cultural Affairs, and Samarkand Archaeology Institute which has been launched this year.
On the first day, Dr Natsuki Murakami in NABUNKEN gave a lecture titled “How colour is perceived and measured” and explained how colour is perceived by humans, how colour can be objectively converted into data and the importance of colour data in artefact surveys. This was followed by a hands-on session of practical training on the handheld spectrophotometer using excavated tiles and ceramics.
The second day was for the lecture titled “Environmental management for material conservation” also given by Dr Murakami, dealing with different kinds of monitoring techniques of the environment in the storage and exhibition places, such as thermo-hygrometer, passive-indicators, and insect traps. This was followed by a practical exercise in using these tools.
More than twenty local participants, from leading scholars in this field to undergraduate students, enthusiastically joined this seminar. We hope we can continue this project not only for raising awareness of the importance of post-excavation works but also to further develop mutual communication regarding cultural heritage protection and research, between Uzbekistan and Japan.