Diploma in ‘Heritage Sites Management and Scientific Conservation’
Course Curriculum
  1. Introduction to Heritage
  2. Understanding the notions of heritage; types of heritage (tangible, intangible and living); defining ‘heritage’ and notions of ‘value’ and ‘significance’; Classification of cultural assets.

  3. History, Theory and Concepts of Conservation
  4. History and development of conservation, Conservation principles and practices, Ethics in conservation, Philosophical approaches to conservation, Degrees and measures of intervention.
    This unit will trace the history of conservation in India and introduce students to the theory and concepts of cultural heritage conservation. A few key philosophies and ideologies will also be introduced, highlighting the fundamental principles of conservation practiced today along with the various degrees of intervention. The theoretical aspects of conservation will be illustrated and explained further using case studies and specially designed field visits.

  5. Heritage Legislation and Policy
  6. Introduction to legislations for the protection and preservation of heritage, The AMASR Act 2010, State legislation, The Antiquities and Art Treasures Act 1972, International Charters and Conventions, INTACH Charters for the Conservation of Unprotected Heritage and Sites in India, World Heritage Convention, Role and functioning of national and international organizations like ASI, INTACH, ICOMOS, ICCROM, NMA, National Museum etc.
    This unit will make students aware of the principal organizations involved with heritage protection in India by understanding the roles played by them in legislation and policy making. Key legislations and policies will also be introduced including the role local planning bodies play in the management of the historic environment. The history and scope of various international heritage policies and conservation charters will also be discussed.

  7. Cultural Heritage Management
  8. Conservation plan, Management plan, Project management, Heritage economics, Risk preparedness, Disaster management, Sustainable conservation, Popularising archaeology, Community participation
    Managing cultural heritage begins with the development of critical understanding of the concept of 'heritage' with the acknowledgement that both public and private interest groups play a role in establishing conservation and heritage policies. The unit will introduce the basic principles, concepts and philosophies of cultural heritage management including their social, cultural and political consequences, in order to understand the management processes and practices. Using examples, some of the key approaches to heritage management will be introduced including planning, management, fundraising, risk assessment and preparedness, disaster management, tourism, archaeology, sustainability and livelihoods.

  9. Documentation and Condition Assessment
  10. Listing tools like GIS and Arches; Condition survey and documentation of art object/ historical site; Archival research including preparation of history chart; Visual documentation; UR, IR and Radiography, Fake and Forgeries; Introduction to analytical techniques such as XRF, XRD, FTIR, Thermal Analysis, SEM-EDX in conservation; Identification and mapping of causes of decay - Physical, chemical and biological processes.
    The practice of conservation is concerned with heritage of all scales - from objects, to buildings and even cities. However, the initial step to any conservation process is the collection of authentic data and records. The unit will introduce different techniques of systematic documentation and analysis of heritage. It will cover Listing exercise, both primary and secondary. The broad aim is to understand how documentation, mapping and assessment are undertaken from macro to micro level i.e. historic buildings and historic content.

  11. Art and Material Conservation: hands-on practical session
    1. Study, use and conservation of lime in building
    2. Study, use and conservation of stone (art and architecture)
    3. Conservation of metallic objects (sculptures and art objects)
    4. Conservation of paintings (mural and canvas)
    5. Conservation of paper and archival material (manuscripts, records etc.)

    A series of hands-on practical sessions will introduce some of the key philosophical issues and practical challenges which arise in the use and conservation of various traditional building materials like lime and stone. It is critical to understand the building materials and examine the issues which arise in the conservation of these historic buildings. Study and use of stone will be examined both as building material and as art and material objects including sculptures, decorative components, architectural elements etc. Similarly, scientific and chemical properties of metallic objects like iron, bronze, copper etc. will be studied for conservation intervention. Paintings are another critical area that will be studied for treatment, cleaning and conservation. These will include both mural and canvas paintings. Treatment and conservation of paper and manuscripts will also be covered in this course.

  12. Research Methodology in Conservation
  13. Scientific examination, methods and methodology practiced in conservation, Importance of scientific data for conservation, Research methodology for practice in laboratory and in the field, Review and Analysis of published data, Writing reports and published material, Peer-reviews.
    This unit will highlight the emphasis upon scientific approaches to conservation including technical examination, data collection, analytical methods etc. It is very important to refer to the material already published in national and international journals. Therefore a special emphasis will be laid on this aspect. The course will also illustrate how to review papers and write reports and papers for peer-reviewed publications.

  14. Community archaeology
  15. Introduction to the principles of Archaeology, Archaeology as a science, Archaeology as a practice, Role of local community in local history and its interpretation, Involving community in archaeological excavations and discovering their past, Site interpretation centre/ museum. This subject will provide a broad overview on the history and approaches of archaeology in India. It will try and make a points that archaeology is not only ‘digging the past’ but a scientific process of understanding and interpreting the way life was conducted, the way cultures evolved and the way communities interacted. This is essential in order to develop methodologies for preserving these evidences of the past cultures for the future generations. Another critical aspect of this subject will be to introduce ways by which local peoples/ communities may be involved in archaeological projects.

  16. Sustainability and Conservation
  17. Ideology behind the use of local material and techniques for conservation, eco-friendly approaches, understanding global issues related to heritage conservation, sustainable conservation.
    The aim of this subject will be introduce the notion of sustainability in the wider context of heritage conservation. Using examples, the approaches to conservation from a sustainable perspective will be discussed. The notions of ‘local’, ‘vernacular’ and ‘eco-friendly’ solutions to the challenges of heritage preservation will be addressed.

  18. Museum Studies
  19. Introduction the notion of a ‘museum’, types of museums, curation, material culture, material conservation, documentation and cataloguing, visitor experience, museum as an educational space.
    This subject will aim to expand the notion of a museum in an Indian context. Museum are dynamic spaces that can facilitate interaction and education of visitors with the objects. It will emphasise on the understanding and analysis of material culture, introduce some of the key approaches to curation and conservation of museum objects.

  20. Placement
  21. The course will require placement with a heritage professional or heritage organization for a minimum period of ten weeks. This will provide an opportunity to gather practical experience of working in the field under the guidance or shadow of a heritage expert and practitioner. Placement will be an essential component of the course at the end of which all students will be asked to make a brief presentation of the experience.

  22. Dissertation
  23. At the end of the course, all students will be required to write a research dissertation of 10,000 – 12,000 words. The topic of this research will be based on the interest of the student and developed with the help of a mentor or guide provided to each student either from within the institution or from outside.

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