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Lawrence Parramore





Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Sat 26 Apr, 2008 4:10 am    Post subject: Conservation?         Reply with quote

There is some really interesting armour (to me at least) being 'dug up' across Europe, I prefer to see the in situe photos where I can see what I am looking at rather than the 'fragments' left after 'conservation', why don't archaeologists do things like Palaeontologists when recovering fragile objects? Can any archaeologist enlighten me?

Catch
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Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Sun 27 Apr, 2008 4:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure what your question is? What do paleontologist do when they recover fragile objects that we don't do (not being a paleontologist, I'm not sure)? The thing about armour (Iron and steel at least) is that if you look at the piece in situ, you'll only be looking at a big chunk of corrosion. It depends on the terrain where it is found but it wouldn't be very interesting except to see how much a bit of iron can corrode if left in a certain soil for a certain period. But if you want to see them, most of the time major objects being found are precisely photographed, drawn and positioned (although in some context you find so much metallic concretions that you don't bother recording them). The tricky part is to find the publications after.
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J F. McBrayer





Joined: 07 Oct 2006

Posts: 23

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr, 2008 8:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I was thinking about this issue this morning. I know prehistoric archaeologists in both Europe and North America will photograph and draw anything significant in situ before fully excavating it, and I'd be surprised if historic archaeologists did anything different. But it's quite possible that that information is only in the field notes, or possibly in a site report published in the "gray literature," rather than making it to whatever publication you're seeing these finds in.
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Sean Belair
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Joined: 08 Aug 2006

Posts: 147

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

conservators are required to fully document (including pictures) any object before conservation. I would not be surprised if objects fell through the cracks, but on a whole there should be documentation. Itís just knowing where to look, and who to ask.
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Sean Belair
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Joined: 08 Aug 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr, 2008 8:19 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry forgot

Archeologists are also supposed to periodically photograph the dig, as well as any artifacts they find.
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Max Chouinard




Location: Quebec, Qc
Joined: 23 Apr 2008

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PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr, 2008 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It depends on the regulations of your country, but you don't photograph everything, it is left to your own judgement. Heck if I had to photograph every potery shard I come to find or every metal concression....

Unfortunately finding the field reports is very hard for someone without contact, even more if it's not in your country. If you know the year and the location it might help, and then again you got to know how to read them. Other than that, if you can get acess to J-Stor you can find some useful publications.

If you want a good example of what we find in the field:
http://www.archeonavale.org/martinique/imagem...tolet2.jpg
http://www.mcccf.gouv.qc.ca/phips/img_2004/fig-1.jpg
http://www.mcccf.gouv.qc.ca/phips/img_2004/fig-7-8-9.jpg

So if rust is your thing, alright. But I much prefer to have a look at them after the restoration Wink. But if what you want is bronze, that's another story.
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Peter Grassmann





Joined: 01 Dec 2006

Posts: 29

PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Unfortunately, many conservators use methods like electrolysis or acids to "restore" the items. Those methods attack the material and loosen the patina. It can often be seen on items in museums. It's as always: there are some who care about their work and some who don't and thus use cheap and easy methods.
Peter
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Thomas Watt




Location: Metrowest Boston
Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 159

PostPosted: Mon 05 May, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anyone who is currently a student in college (and that can be fairly loosely defined sometimes) could certainly ask for and get a letter of introduction (on University letterhead) as a researcher.
One of my profs in grad school offered to get me into the V&A collections that way.
Although getting into the stacks and collections is also going to vary a lot depending on the organization you're dealing with... some museums (for instance) have 'too many' volunteers and aren't interested in any researchers. Others are enthusiastic, and you may well get more of a free hand.
I have managed to hold - and study - several pieces over 2,000 years old (Mayan pottery) with modest supervision.

Have 11 swords, 2 dirks, half a dozen tomahawks and 2 Jeeps - seem to be a magnet for more of all.
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Lawrence Parramore





Joined: 24 Nov 2006

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Wed 07 May, 2008 5:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi all,

Thanks for the replies.

Well I have been away in the Baltic's for a few days and talked to some archaeologists and 'experimental archaeologists' over there, and it seems it is generally because there are older archaeologists in place who have no interest in Armour (they haven't even bothered to read a basic book on the subject!!)

When I say like Palaeontologists, I mean the way they manage to keep things in one piece as opposed to finding it in one piece and recognizable, then 'conserving' it and being left with some fragments.

Yes I think the 'electro etch' quick and cheap could be largely responsible, though I know some use it in a very slow and careful manner.

Some really large finds are apparently being hoarded by an 'official' and if it were known about more interest would possibly spark a better conservation program?

I have been hearing about even more interesting finds and none are being published at all Sad

Max that pistol is an amazing example, but I mean where I have seen photos of pieces where you can clearly see what it is and then later you see some fragments, a bit like some of the Rhodes Armour in reverse, I hope you understand what I mean.

I have been trying to convince some of them to get some of it published, we shall see what happens.


Catch
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