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Subject: Clay tablets

Clay tablets

From: Stephen Koob <koobs>
Date: Tuesday, October 29, 1996
Reply to John Woodhouse's query as to a fixative/adhesive for
undertaking the repair/consolidation of cracked and broken clay
tablets:

This is a situation where I would suggest you do nothing until you
can have a conservator experienced in the conservation of clay and
ceramics look at your collection.  Unfired clay tablets can be very
difficult to treat successfully, and introducing an adhesive or
consolidant without completely assessing the condition of the
tablets cannot be recommended.  If the clay tablets are indeed
unfired clay, they may have soluble salts, which is possibly the
source of some of the deterioration.

There is new research and study currently being done on the
conservation of clay tablets; for further information, contact me
directly.

Stephen Koob
Department of Conservation and Scientific Research
Freer Gallery of Art
Smithsonian Institution
Washington DC 20560
202-357-4880 x276

                                  ***
                  Conservation DistList Instance 10:43
                Distributed: Thursday, October 31, 1996
                       Message Id: cdl-10-43-009
                                  ***
Received on Tuesday, 29 October, 1996

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