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Subject: Displaying soil sample

Displaying soil sample

From: Lisa Mibach <perygrine>
Date: Sunday, September 15, 1996
Mark Vine <100436.3447 [at] compuserve__com> writes

>A garden of tremendously historical importance is endeavouring to
>preserve and display a sampling of freshly removed moist soil.

Apologizing for the delay in reply, my experience suggests that
display of fresh soil samples other than in anoxic or frozen
conditions is very difficult, given that life will go on...

A successful alternative which I have used or advised at several
sites is a latex peel (using a material such as rubber latex, or
polysulfide rubber, depending on the longevity desired and the
wetness of the site), in which an aqueous "rubber" compound is
applied to a freshly prepared soil section, backed with scrim and
mother-mould, and allowed to dry. It is then pulled carefully back
and off, rolled for removal, and reassembled on a contour-prepared
exhibit wall. The only catch is that the pulls are reversed, so
looking into a fully reconstructed archaeological trench is a
dizzyingly Through-the-Looking-Glass experience! This technique
seems to last as long as the "rubber" does, which might facilitate
comparison of samples.

Lisa Mibach

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:28
                Distributed: Tuesday, September 17, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-28-005
                                  ***
Received on Sunday, 15 September, 1996

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