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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Lock and keys from the Antoninus Pius sanctuary after cleaning in the laboratory

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

Metallurgical Studies: August 24-30, 2003

Nathalie Kellens' aim this season was to go through all the small metal finds from previous years to check and improve the conservation condition of the objects and to improve their study. This seemed necessary because our approach to metal conservation was different in the early years of excavation, and general cleaning wasn't always done.

Archaeological metal conservator Katleen Vandenbranden treated approximately 310 finds, most made of a iron and copper alloy and one made of silver. The objects were cleaned of dust, soil, and corrosion to reveal their shape and detail with handtools or acetone when necessary. Corrosion products or flakes that came off during the cleaning were kept separately as samples for analysis.

All finds were packed separately in polyethylene (Minigrip) bags with their label. Fragile finds were stored in polyethylene foam in a crystal box. Iron and copper alloy and other metal objects were stored separately in polyethylene (Stewart) boxes. All boxes have an indication of their content visible from the outside to prevent opening the boxes too often.

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