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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos

Nerina da Silva gets the drill box to chase the mouse from the conservation lab.

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Small Finds Conservation: July 10-14, 2005

This year, the small-finds conservation team is directed by Emine Kocak and, for the moment, includes Filiz Zeyveli and Canan Ustabay (both Ankara University) and Nerina Mangala da Silva (U.K. and Sri Lanka). Ines Vandewoestijne completed the work for her MA on glass conservation. The first day was spent clearing out the lab, which had been used to store excavation material and equipment. The "to be expected" mouse made a frantic chase unavoidable and sent Filiz running up to the first floor, from where she observed the proceedings.

Having settled in, the team started by doing a condition check of the most sensitive material stored in the depots, the metal finds. They are stored in airtight plastic containers with a desiccant silica gel in prefabricated insulated depots out in the yard. The objects were found to be in a stable condition; a favourable burial environment and good storage facilities usually ensure this. From the first day of clearing and preparing the trenches, a "bronze finger" was discovered. Since then, the usual ceramic sherds, glass fragments, tesserae, iron and copper alloy objects and a stone altar piece have been retrieved and brought down to the laboratory at the excavation house. After being registered by the depot managers and brought to the lab, they receive conservation treatment. Treatments range from the partial removal of obscuring soil and corrosion products under stereo-magnification to full treatment, depending on the condition of the object and the requirements of the finds specialists and the temsilci, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism representative who makes the selection of artifacts to be taken to the Burdur Museum.

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