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27 February 2013

Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Professional Placements

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery and Stoke Potteries Museum are seeking expressions of interest for conservation professional placements who wish to take advantage of a unique professional development opportunity through contributing to the conservation of the Staffordshire Hoard.

The Hoard
The Staffordshire Hoard represents the most significant archaeological find ever uncovered in the West Midlands region. Since the public disclosure of the find in September 2009 there has been an unprecedented level of public and media interest in the Hoard. There is also the academic communities who have specific and significant expectations in relation to establishing a research agenda around the Hoard. Birmingham Museums and Art Gallery and the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent are the Acquiring Partners and understand the need to address the varied agendas and expectations that have arisen since the discovery and acquisition of the Hoard.

The first and most important step is to conserve the Hoard so that it is materially stable thereby allowing the effective investigation of the material by scientists, archaeologists and historians. This call is part of the Acquiring Partners strategy to meet their responsibilities in this area and how they will ensure that the democratic and open approach that has typified the handling of this most important of finds is maintained throughout the process of conservation.

What is in the Hoard?
Following initial assessment the Hoard was found to contain 97 sword pommels (25% of the sword pommels are of a cloisonné design with 60% constructed from fine filigree), 354 sword and dagger hilt fittings, 9 pyramids, 4 pommel rings, 2 buttons and a large amount of fragments. The Hoard totals 5.094 kilos of gold, 1.442 kilos of silver including approximately 3,500 cloisonné garnets (51 loose) and a large number of fragments some of which are consistent with those found on helmets of this period. In total the Hoard contains 3,490 pieces/fragments and has no comparator in terms of content and quantity in the UK or mainland Europe.

Conservation Professional placement
The Hoard conservation project is able to offer three, two week placements a year, from April 2013-August 2013.
Conservation professionals with specific skills sets in the conservation of metalwork, archaeological conservation and Anglo-Saxon metalwork are being sought to work with the Hoard conservation team.

It is hoped that the invited conservator will be able to inform and enhance the conservation work. They will work with the conservation team to help expand their conservation knowledge on specific aspects of the conservation, construction and historical information. The invited conservator will also be expected to carry out written and photographic documentation and practical conservation work.

An aim of the project is to engage with the public and participants may asked to contribute to ongoing public engagement activity.

Funding for one/two week placements is available to cover accommodation if required and subsistence only (as specified by Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery). It is hoped to offer three two week placements.

If you are interested in participating please submit a maximum of two sides of A4 on the Staffordshire Hoard Conservation Professional Placements form containing your contact details, specialist area and what experience and support you can offer to the conservation team and what you hope to gain out of the experience.

Please indicate how long a placement you would like and when you would like the placement.
Deadline: 31st March 2013

Please submit your application to:
Pieta Greaves
Hoard Conservation Project Leader
[email protected]