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Subject: Deciphering obliterated text

Deciphering obliterated text

From: Laramie Hickey-Friedman <laramie>
Date: Sunday, May 3, 1998
Grace Katterman <Grace_Katterman [at] nps__gov> writes

>...  The surface of the paper tags which identified a
>collection of artifacts in Peru has been obliterated by hungry
>silverfish.  The surfaces are eaten to varying degrees, but I am
>hoping there is some way to still be able to read the identification

You might try using infra-red reflectography to read the text. It is
a non-destructive, non-invasive technique that can work to more
clearly distinguish underdrawing, faded drawings, and underpainting,
to name a few of its potential uses in conservation. It is capable
of identifying traces of carbon and graphite. There is a good
article written by J.R.J. Van Asperen de Boer, "Reflectography of
Paintings Using an Infrared Vidicon Television System" in Studies in
Conservation, vol 14, 1969. There are other more current articles,
but this is good at describing the basics. Raking light is also an
excellent way to "read" a surface.

Laramie Hickey-Friedman
Conservation Fellow
Winterthur/University of Delaware

                  Conservation DistList Instance 11:89
                   Distributed: Tuesday, May 5, 1998
                       Message Id: cdl-11-89-007
Received on Sunday, 3 May, 1998

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