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Subject: Basket


From: Marieanne Davy Ball <nmrak>
Date: Tuesday, January 16, 2001
In 1999 a basket was uncovered and lifted during an excavation in
the area. At present a date for this object is unknown. It is
thought to have been made from date palm leaf, with an outer leather
covering, coated in bitumen. The organic components of this object
appear to have gone completely, leaving only their the impressions
on bitumen. Although it is thought to be bitumen, FTIR proved
inconclusive. The other possibility, though not so likely, seems to
be that the basket is carbonised. (A goatskin bag with bitumen
coating had been previously recovered, along with carbonised rope).

The basket is still encased in the block from lifting and is
extremely fragile. The surface is removed easily with acetone,
although most other solvents, for example white spirit, do not
effect it, nor do they remove the dirt, water does slowly have a
cleaning effect.

I have to remove much of the inner and outer lifting block, but not
necessarily all; firstly to see if it contained anything when buried
and secondly to show the baskets make-up. Does anyone have any
experience with the cleaning, consolidation and support of such an

Marieanne Davy Ball
National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah
Post Box No: 94
Ras Al Khaimah
United Arab Emirates
+971 7 2333411
Fax: +971 7 2330431

                  Conservation DistList Instance 14:39
                 Distributed: Monday, January 22, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-14-39-021
Received on Tuesday, 16 January, 2001

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