In 1998, on commission of the Soprintendenza Archeologica of Ostia Antica, CCA implemented a program for the conservation of floor mosaics of Piazzale delle Corporazioni, one of the site’s most known and visited monumental complexes.
The mosaics currently cover 1,000 m2 out of a total of 1,900 m2 of pavement. Of these, some are still in their original setting beds, while others had been detached and re-applied in situ on reinforced concrete during the 1960s and 1970s.
The program included maintenance of the mosaics and creation of visitor routes.
A training course for seven technicians from the Institute National du Patrimoine of Tunisia was designed and implemented with the specific goal of offering participants an opportunity to update their knowledge on treatment techniques and maintenance by studying this site. These mosaics show the entire range of problems caused by open-air exposure, previous treatments with cement and iron, exposure to foot traffic and vegetation growth.
Other than theoretical lessons held at CCA’s headquarters in Belmonte in Sabina (RI), where the group tackled technical aspects and analyzed conservation problems, the course also included discussions on preventive conservation strategies and practical work on site.
Constantly guided by CCA conservators, participants learned how to document mosaics’ condition and previous or current treatments; they tried out cuci-scuci (sew and unpick) techniques for removing metal rods and consolidation with lime-based mortars; also, they performed maintenance tasks such as manual removal of roots and weeding, cleaning and stuccoing.