The Archaeologist's Manual for Conservation

The Archaeologist's Manual for Conservation

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This is a Foreword by an archaeologist, not a conservator, but as Brad Rodgers says, a€œConservation has been steadily pulled from archaeology by the forces of specializationa€(p. 3), andhewantstoremedythatsituationthroughthismanual. He seesthisworkasaa€œcalltoactionforthenon-professionalconservator, a€permitting a€œcurators, conservators, and archaeologists to identify artifacts that need prof- sional attention and, allow these professionals to stabilize most artifacts in their own laboratories with minimal intervention, using simple non-toxic proceduresa€ (p. 5). It is the mission of Brada€™s manual to a€œbring conservation back into arch- ologya€ (p. 6). The degree of success of that goal depends on the degree to which archaeologists pay attention to, and put to use, what Brad has to say, because as he says, a€œThe conservationist/archaeologist is responsible to make preparation for an artifacta€™s care even before it is excavated and after its storage into the foreseeable futurea€. . . a tremendous responsibilitya€ (p. 10). The manual is a combination of highly technical as well as common sense methods of conserving wood, iron and other metals, ceramics, glass and stone, organicsandcompositsa€”afarbetterguidetoartifactconservationthanwasava- able to me when I ?rst faced that archaeological challenge at colonial Brunswick Town, North Carolina in 1958a€”a challenge still being faced by archaeologists today. The stage of conservation in 1958 is in dramatic contrast to the procedures Brad describes in this manuala€”conservation has indeed made great progress. For instance, acommonprocedurethenwastoheattheartifactsredhotinafurnacea€”a method that made me cringe.In academic settings the stove and oven are being replaced with scientific versions that serve the same function at many times the expense. The range hood is also being replaced with a scientific fume hood. The oven will be used to dehydrateanbsp;...

Title:The Archaeologist's Manual for Conservation
Author:Bradley A. Rodgers
Publisher:Springer Science & Business Media - 2007-05-08


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