Institute for Archaeo-Metallurgical Studies


Ancient and Historic Metals: Technology, Microstructure, and Corrosion

22 August 2013–26 August 2013, 12:00 am–12:00 am

Cast Bronze Metallography

Event Information

Open to




A Summer Intensive Course on Ancient Metals and Metallography is to be taught by Prof. David A. Scott at UCL in July 2013 aimed at conservators, scientists and archaeologists.

From: David A. Scott   dascott@ucla.edu
To be held at: University College London, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK.  This is close to Malet Street and Gower Street. A great central London location.
Date: July 22-26th,  2013.
Instructor: Dr. David A. Scott, Professor, Department of Art History, Founding Director, UCLA/Getty Programme in Archaeological and Ethnographic Conservation.

Course Aims: This five-day course will act both as an introduction and a focus of more intensive study dealing with the examination, analysis, metallographic examination and corrosion of ancient and historic metals.  The course is designed to benefit conservators, scientists and archaeologists who wish to learn how to prepare metallic samples for metallographic study, learn something of the technological aspects of the working and structure of metals, and how corrosion and patination can be discussed and examined with the aid of polished cross-sections.

Artefacts for examination: Over the past 30 years an unrivalled collection of mounted metallographic samples has been assembled, which are studied as part of the course practical work, involving both polarized light microscopy and metallographic microscopy of freshly polished and etched samples. These samples range from cast iron from China to wootz steel from India, bronze coinage alloys from the Roman Empire to high-tin bronze from ancient Thailand, silver alloys from the Parthian period to ancient Ecuador, gilded copper and tumbaga from Peru and Colombia, to mention only a few of the geographical areas covered by available samples. Course participants will be instructed in the use of polishing and etching
in the examination of samples and are encouraged to keep digital images which can be downloaded directly to their own computer, of the samples they have prepared during the week.  Students may also bring their own samples for examination if mounted and ground, or if not mounted, then one or two samples may be brought which can be mounted and prepared during the course.

Course Instructor:  Dr. David A. Scott, Professor, Department of Art History, UCLA.
His book, Copper and Bronze in Art: Corrosion, Colorants, Conservation won the prize from      the Association of American Publishers as the best Scholarly/Art book published in the USA in 2002. His book on Iron and Steel: Corrosion, Colorants, Conservation, written with Professor Gerhard Eggert, was published from London in July 2009. Professor Scott's most recent books are very relevant for this course, and were published in 2011 and 2012.  "Ancient Metals: Microstructure and Metallurgy, Volume 1", ISBN 978-0982933800, the volume from 2011, is included in the cost of the course: each participant will receive one copy of this volume. Other background reading which relates directly to the samples we shall study during the week have been published in the second volume of this series, Gold and Platinum Metallurgy of Ancient Ecuador and Colombia, ISBN 978-0982933848, together with volume three, some additional plates for this topic, ISBN 978-0982933831, and additional bronzes available for study whose microstructures were published in Copper and Bronze in Art, ISBN 978-0892366389, mentioned above. For further details regarding ordering of these additional books please contact the author.

Please send an e-mail to:  dascott@ucla.edu to register for this course. Include brief details of your background, education and current interest in ancient metals. If you have an interest in a particular area of ancient metals which can be examined using polished samples, please do let me know when registering, as selected samples have to be transported from the USA to the UK for this course.
Professor Scott has published over 110 papers in the peer-reviewed literature and eight books. He has been an editor for the journal 'Studies in Conservation? for the past 30 years.

Course Schedule: The course will be held over the five days, Monday-Friday,  July 22nd -July 26th ,  2013.  The course will take place at UCL Department of Mechanical Engineering, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE.  Many nearby hotels and hostels can be found in this area. The course will run from 9:15am-5pm each day.

The course is open to a maximum of 10 participants only.

Course Costs:  The cost of the instruction for the five days will be $900.00 or sterling equivalent of this amount (550 Pounds Sterling). For details of payment and to register for this course, please contact the course organizer and director:

Professor David A. Scott, Room A410,
The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA, 405 Hilgard Avenue,
Los Angeles CA 90095-1510, USA