Suzanne Davis, Geoff Emberling, and Janelle Batkin-Hall at El Kurru. Photo by Walter de Winter

Kelsey Museum conservators Suzanne Davis and Caroline Roberts recently published an article about their work to preserve ancient Meroitic graffiti in a rock-cut temple at the site of El Kurru in Sudan. The temple and its graffiti provide important material evidence for the African empire of Kush, but El Kurru’s sandstone monuments suffer from granular disintegration and other serious condition problems. Suzanne and Carrie’s article, “A Comprehensive Approach to Conservation of Ancient Graffiti at El Kurru, Sudan,” published in the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation, describes a variety of conservation projects centered on the graffiti: a comprehensive condition survey, chemical analysis of the stone, consolidant testing, and digital documentation with reflectance transformation imaging. The article also emphasizes key principles for guiding conservation at archaeological sites: practicality, flexibility, sustainability, and placing a high value on the contributions and wishes of stakeholders.