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Subject: Antler at archaeological dig

Antler at archaeological dig

From: Lisa Mibach <perygrine>
Date: Friday, August 26, 1994
>Advice is requested regarding antler (and some bone tools) found at a
>significant dig.  We would like to know how to handle and preserve the
>specimens so that they may be preserved and yet used for further study
>in the future.  They may be used for casting, so advice on chemicals and
>treatment should consider the need to retain intricate details.

1.  If it's wet, keep it wet; if it's dry, keep it dry.  Wrap the pieces
    tightly in Flexigauze as you excavate them to hold them together.
    Mold growth on wet specimens is a potential problem, so don't hang
    about forever.

2.  any chemicals used for casting /treatment will compromise any
    analytical potential for dating and possibly DNA etc.

3.  treatment will require SLOW drying, and possibly chemical

4.  the conservation of wet archaeological organics is one of the most
    complex specialties of conservation-for the sake of the objects and
    their physical and scientific potential, call an archaeological
    conservator.  This is no time for amateurs!  There are several here
    on the DistList, or call me at 216-775-1404 for some suggestions.

Lisa Mibach

                  Conservation DistList Instance 8:17
                Distributed: Thursday, September 1, 1994
                        Message Id: cdl-8-17-002
Received on Friday, 26 August, 1994

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