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Subject: Bone and antler

Bone and antler

From: Stan Gough <sgough>
Date: Friday, June 14, 2002
I have a collection of 10,000 year-old bone and antler implements
from an eastern Washington archaeological site, the Sentinel Gap
site.  The site area has a semi-arid climate.  Carbonate salts and
carbonate salt cemented sands encrust many of the artifacts,
sometimes producing a crust several millimeters thick.  The salts
are not limited to the artifact exteriors, but have permeated to
considerable depths, particularly in porous areas where bone/antler
interiors (cancellous material) are exposed as a result of implement

It is important that we clean the carbonates from some portions of
the implements.  I am soliciting this community of conservators'
opinions regarding non-destructive techniques and materials for
cleaning the implements for analytical and illustrative purposes,
but also for long term storage.  We have very effectively removed
the salts from lithic materials using both weak acidic and basic
solutions; however, we are interested in professional guidance in
reference to cleaning the osseous materials.

Stan Gough, Program Director
Archaeological and Historical Services
Eastern Washington University
201 Isle Hall
Cheney, WA 99004-2420
Fax: 509.359.6051

                  Conservation DistList Instance 16:2
                  Distributed: Thursday, June 20, 2002
                        Message Id: cdl-16-2-011
Received on Friday, 14 June, 2002

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