In June 2015 Corinth Excavations hit something better than gold—bedrock! The soil underneath the Eutychia mosaic was removed to bedrock thanks to the careful work of Dr. Sarah James and Corinth Excavations workmen. Keep an eye out for her publication to learn about some of the fascinating finds and their potential implications for the South Stoa.
After backfilling the room to create a level base, the conservators (Nicol Anastassatou, Charis Delis, and Spyros Armenis) are now ready to create a substratum. This is happening today!
While the substratum sets, the conservators will keep busy using technology to design a reinforced custom framework for each mosaic section. The conservation team is uploading photos recorded with photogrammetry into AutoCAD. Not only does this give them a 3D digital puzzle to complete, the resulting file will allow them to have perfectly-sized supports for each section of the mosaic. We have Colin Wallace and James Herbst to thank for their work in recording the mosaic with photogrammetry this summer.
Nicol presented her team effort with Colin and James at the annual conference of the Panhellenic Association of Conservators of Antiquities in Athens, Greece, in a poster titled “Mosaic Documentation with the Use of Photogrammetry and Modeling Using Drone Aerial Photography: Three Documentation Applications on Mosaics in Ancient Corinth from the American School of Classical Studies, Corinth Excavations” on December 12, 2015.
The conservation of the Eutychia mosaic was also mentioned at the Archaeological Institute of America Annual Meeting in San Francisco, California. Katherine Petrole, the Steinmetz Family Foundation Museum Fellow, with Dr. Ioulia Tzonou-Herbst, Assistant Director of Corinth Excavations, presented "Outreach in Ancient Corinth: Educational Enrichment in the USA and Greece" on January 8, 2016.
Additionally, James Herbst showcased how technology, conservation, and preservation all connect at the Eutychia mosaic in his presentation at the "Conversations with the American School" series in Stanford, California, on January 10, 2016.
Fun Fact: Did you know that Corinth Excavations now has an outreach program all about the Eutychia mosaic? It’s highlighted in a lesson plan about the cultural achievements of the Roman Empire. From a classroom in America, students can examine how this mosaic helps us learn about the Roman Empire, and their teacher can show current conservation work at Corinth Excavations. A variety of videos showing a behind-the-scenes look at the process of conservation will be available to teachers, and is linked below. With this case study of the Eutychia mosaic, we are looking at its connection to the Roman Empire and its connection to us today as an object of art: a masterpiece laden with many meanings that affected the function of the space it decorated. It puts Corinth on the "Learning about the Roman Empire" map. For more information about this lesson and others, contact Katie Petrole, the Steinmetz Family Foundation Museum Fellow.
Video Collection: Cultural Achievements and Conservation of the Roman Empire
How to remove cement from a mosaic with conservators Spyros Armenis and Charis Delis.
Watch mosaic tesserae removed one by one with conservator Spyros Armenis.
A short compilation video that Google made for Corinth Excavations.
The epic Mosaic Time Lapse Video.