Hello and welcome to the Otrar 2016 blog! We are Maria Ledinskaya and Natalie Harding, this year’s volunteer conservators with Heritage without Borders in Otrar, Kazakhstan. Before we start blogging about the HwB project in Otrar, we thought we would say a few words to introduce ourselves.
The Otrar project is a collaboration between Heritage without Borders; Centre for Applied Archaeology, UCL; University College London, Qatar; the Margulan Institute of Archaeology of Kazakhstan; and Archaeological Expertise, a commercial company Kazakhstan, acting as the main local organising partner. Our role as volunteer conservators with HwB is to provide first aid conservation support and training to the UCL archaeological team, who will undertake excavation of the historical site in Otrar. We will be staying at the UNESCO base camp for the duration of the project and intend to set up a field conservation lab to help clean, stabilise and pack excavated finds. We will also work with conservators in the local museum and reach out to other heritage institutions in the region. The objective is to facilitate international cultural exchange and discussion around conservation issues and give support where it is most needed.
As the project gets underway, we will both contribute blog entries about the progress of the work and our experiences. Stay tuned!