Central to the unit is the development and conservation of the finds recovered during excavations.
Archaeological finds can change dramatically in their physical and chemical composition as well as their form and stability due to their deposition in the ground and according to the material and surroundings. As a result during and following the excavation, measures must be taken to reduce the decay processes as far as possible and to stabilize the finds. This is the case for the smallest objects as well as for architectural structures. Through various research and excavation methods further information can also be gained about the material composition as well as the technological design of the object. Especially in this area the intense interdisciplinary collaboration permits a synthesis of the object-related information.
A focus is placed on the development and adaptation of concepts and methods of conservation and restoration as well as the subsequent implementation in the workshops of the OeAI or directly at the excavation site. One of the fundamental aims here is ensuring the seamless conservational support and study of the objects from their retrieval to their long-term storage.
The systematic documentation of the condition of the finds or building structures as well as the used conservational materials and applied techniques makes it possible to generate long-term experience and adapt techniques based on this experience.
Another key objective is to intensify the conservation science debate with practical questions and central themes regarding monument preservation. Based on the increased cooperation with national and international experts additional basics are being created to do so. To this effect giving conservation and restoration students the opportunity to gain practical experience through the conservation projects of the OeAI is considered to be of considerable importance.