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Subject: Leather from archaeological site

Leather from archaeological site

From: Charles Pendleton Redwine <redwi001>
Date: Wednesday, September 19, 2001
My company has been conducting an excavation at Kasita (9Ce1) at Ft.
Benning GA.  Somewhat to our surprise we have found a few small
pieces of leather at this site.  As I am working on artifact
conservation here in our lab I am searching for information about
leather conservation.  I have found only one substantial online
source, the Nautical Archaeology conservation manual from Texas A&M.
I think the best method for the material we have and our resources
is the Smithsonian glycerin treatment.  We have one object that
appears to contain cuprous brads, therefore I wanted a treatment
method that does not cause oxidation of metal.  Glycerin treatment
appears to be most suited to this requirement.

The site is not waterlogged but the artifacts did come from the
ground slightly moist.  We attempted to pack them in a way that
would retain moisture, but in the course of shipment and storage
they have become quite dry.  They show no obvious signs of
deterioration but it would certainly be best to treat them as soon
as possible.

I would like to have some references to online or easily available
library sources on conservation of leather recovered from land
archaeological sites, if any exist.  In addition, specific, detailed
instructions on the Smithsonian glycerin treatment from any source
would be greatly appreciated.

Charles Redwine
Lab Technician
Panamerican Consultants Inc.
P.O. Box 40930
Tuscaloosa AL 35404
Fax: 205-556-1144

                  Conservation DistList Instance 15:25
                Distributed: Friday, September 21, 2001
                       Message Id: cdl-15-25-009
Received on Wednesday, 19 September, 2001

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