Conservation on a Friday afternoon at MOLA

Today so far, is a day of tidying up and sorting things out.  Unlike a lot of my collegues at  Museum of London Archaeology (MOLA) we tend to work on many projects at once.  This is partly due to the nature of conservation, you often need to do a little bit to an object and then leave it for a while, so you may as well start on another object.

My plan is to try and finish cleaning some post medieval coins from a site in the city, complete an external contract on a lead fire mark and if I get a chance to play with the waterlogged wooden objects that we are currently treating.

We also say goodbye to our current interns, who have spent the last 9 months working with us at  the archaeological conservation labs in the Museum of London.

Can you tell what is it yet?

A day in the life of an archaeological conservator – part 2

Its been slow, hard work but have managed to reveal more of the iron object.

Not quite halfway

Woo hoo looks like we might have an early Roman miltary sheild boss.  Want to crawl off home as now really tired, plan to sleep on the tube, but not bad for a days work on the air abrasive.

A day in the life of an archeological conservator

So the Day of Archaeology has finally dawned and my chance to talk about archaeological conservation in a commercial unit has arrived.  I had hoped that I was going to be called out onto site to lift some vulnerable but really valuable find and save the day.  The reality is of course much more mundane, but probably as or more important, as today I’m going to spend the  day investigating objects for publication.

People forget that archaeology is not just about digging but also disseminating information.  Archaeological conservation can be vital to that process, as it reveals what objects are and what they look like.  So I am currently working on the air abrasive cleaning of Roman iron.  The air abrasive is a brilliant bit of kit as it is a micro-sandblaster and sometimes is the only thing that can remove thick, hard and dense corrosion to reveal the object.

Iron object












The air abrasive is a slow process but fingers crossed that by the end of the day I will have managed to reveal much, much more of the object.