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Dr Sarah Watkins-Kenney

Lecturer in Conservation

School of History, Archaeology and Religion



Ph.D. Coastal Resources Management, East Carolina University (ECU), Greenville, North Carolina, USA, 2019. Research Focus: Public Policy and Conservation of Underwater Cultural Heritage. Thesis Title: Complexity and Conservation Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage by Public Agencies in North Carolina.

M.A. (with distinction), Museum and Gallery Management, Dept. Arts Policy & Management, City University, London, UK. 1994 . Dissertation Title: A County Conservation Service.  

 B.Sc. (Honours), Archaeological Conservation, University of Wales, Cardiff, Dept. of Archaeology. 1977.


 2021-2023.: Adjunct Research Instructor (unpaid ), East Carolina University (ECU), Department of Anthropology, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA.  

 2019 – 2020. Special Projects' Coordinator and Researcher, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR), Office of State Archaeology (OSA), Greenville, NC, USA. 

2003 -2019. Head of QAR Lab and Chief Conservator, North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) Office of State Archaeology (OSA), Queen Anne's Revenge/La Concorde QAR Shipwreck Conservation Laboratory, Greenville, North Carolina, 27834, USA. 

1994 -  2003.   Head of Section: Ceramics, Glass and Metals (1996-2003); Head of Section: Metals and Facsimile Service (1994-1995), Department of Conservation, British Museum, London, UK. 

1988 - 1993. County Conservation Officer, Wiltshire County Council Library and Museum Service, Conservation Centre, Salisbury, Wiltshire (also an agency for Area Museum Council for Southwest), UK

1985 - 1988. Conservator, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery and Area Museum Council for Southwest, Bristol, UK. 

1978 - 1984.  Conservator of Archaeology, Oxford University, Institute of Archaeology, Oxford, UK.

1977 - 1978 Assistant Conservation Officer, Area Museum Council for Yorkshire & Humberside, Doncaster Museum, Doncaster, Yorkshire, UK


North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDCR) as staff. Project directed by Mark Wilde-Ramsing (2004-2012) and John Morris (2012-2015): La Concorde/Queen Anne's Revenge (QAR) Shipwreck Project. 2004-2015 (Field Seasons).

Universities of Bristol and Cambridge as volunteer. Projects directed by Simon Stoddart and Caroline Malone: Nepi, Lazio, Italy. Etruscan – Roman – Medieval. 1991-1994 (13 Weeks); Gubbio, Umbria, Italy. Neolithic - Bronze Age – Roman. 1987-1988 (8 weeks).

University of East Anglia as British Museum seconded staff. Project directed by Richard Hodges:San Vincenzo al Volturno, Molise, Italy. Roman – Medieval. 1996 (3 Weeks).

University of Oxford, Institute of Archaeology as staff. Project directed by Barry Cunliffe:Danebury, Hampshire, UK. Iron Age Hillfort. 1979-1984 (Various Summer Field Seasons).

Canterbury Archaeology Trust as student volunteer on placement. Project directed by Tim Tatton-Brown: Canterbury, Kent, UK. Roman-Medieval. 1976 (Summer)

University of Wales, College Cardiff and University of Newcastle as student volunteer on placement. Project directed by Michael Jarrett:West Whelpington, Newcastle. Deserted Medieval Village. 1975 (c.3 weeks); Project directed by Colin Burgess:Meldon Bridge, Peebleshire, Scotland. Bronze Age-Roman. 1975 (c 3 weeks)

Professional memberships

  • The Institute of Conservation (ICON) – Accredited Member (ACR).
  • International Institute for Conservation (IIC) – Fellow (FIIC).
  • Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA) – Accredited Member (MCIfA)
  • Register of Professional Archaeologists – Registered member (RPA)
  • Society of Historical Archaeology (SHA) - member
  • American Institute for Conservation (AIC) - member
  • North Carolina Archaeological Society - member and board member

Academic positions

2021-2023.:East Carolina University (ECU), Department of Anthropology, Greenville, NC, 27858, USA. Adjunct Research Instructor (unpaid), 

1995-1997: University of Wales, College Cardiff, UK. External Examiner: B.Sc. Degree Archaeological Conservation. 

1991: Bournemouth University, UK.  Lecturer (Temporary Contract) (c. 1991) for undergraduate archaeology class "Introduction to Conservation"

Committees and reviewing

 ICON - The Institute of Conservation (previously UK Institute for Conservation UKIC)

  • Project Manager (2020-2022) and co-author for First Aid for Finds 4th Edition: 2020 to present.
  • Accreditation CPD and Action Plans Reviewer: 2012-2013.
  • Member of Accreditation Committee: 2000-2003.
  • Contributing author: Review of Archaeological Conservation in England and Wales, 2000-2002.
  • Contributing author: First Aid for Finds , 3rd edition: 1998 (Watkinson and Neal, 1998).
  • Working party member: English Heritage 'Ginger Group' review of Provision for the Conservation of Waterlogged Structural Timbers in the UK: 1990-1993.
  • Working party member and contributing author: UK Museums & Galleries Commission: Standards in the Museum Care of Archaeological Collections: 1990-1992.
  • UKIC Archaeology Section: Chair, 1988-1991; committee member; 1983-1991.
  • Contributing author: First Aid for Finds , 2nd edition: 1987 (Watkinson, 1987)
  • Conference organiser: 'Conservation of Ancient Egyptian Materials', Bristol: 1988.
  • Conference organiser: 'Burials and Bodies', Bristol: 1988.
  • Working party member and contributing author: Council for British Archaeology (CBA) Lapidary Working Party: Recording Worked Stones: a practical guide: 1987.
  • Conference co-organiser: 'Lead and Tin- Studies in Conservation and Technology, Oxford: 1985.

Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA)

  • Co-author (with Dr Lynn Harris, ECU) of paper presented (by Harris) at SHA Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. Paper entitled: "Marine Art as a Research Tool for Investigating Cask Assemblages Found on 18th Century Shipwrecks Identified as Slave-Trade Ships"
  • Mentor for 4 students at SHA 2020 conference.
  • Board Member: Advisory Council for Underwater Archaeology (ACUA): 2012-2019.
  • ACUA workshops at SHA conferences (2013-2018) – Talk given "Introduction to Conservation Underwater Cultural Heritage".

North Carolina Archaeological Society 

  •  Board member 2020-present

International Council of Museums Conservation Committee (ICOM CC) Wet Organic Archaeological Materials (WOAM)

  • Conference co-organiser: WOAM 11th Triennial conference, held at East Carolina University (ECU), Greenville, North Carolina, USA: 2010.

Smithsonian Institution USA

  • Member Technical Advisory Group for Gunboat Philadelphia: 2019.

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists (CIfA).

  • Finds Group: Chair, 1999-2001; Committee Member, 1995-2001.
  • Contributing author: Finds Group: Standard and Guidance - Artefact and Environmental Study, Collection, Research and Conservation, 2001.
  • Conference organiser: Finds Group: 'Finds for Free? - The use of volunteers in Archaeological Finds Work'; London, 1996.

 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) USA

  • Advisory Council Member for USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS): 2016-2019