What is the process of conservation treatments of excavated items?
- Buried underground for many years, relics go through corrosion and deterioration effected by a variety of corrosion factors and environments. When metal artifacts are excavated, it is important to take emergency preservation procedures to minimize damages to the items caused by sudden changes in environment.
- If a relic is severely corroded or damaged, it should undergo consolidation treatments. Consolidation is achieved by connecting the damaged parts using Cemedine-C, or injecting or spraying, using a spray, brush, or syringe, 2%, 3%, 5% of Paraloid B72 solution several times, gradually increasing the concentration of solution. Consolidants should be reversible materials, which will not affect later conservation treatments.
- When several artifacts are fixed together, expanding polyurethane foam is used. First, the artifacts are wrapped in mulberry paper, and then the empty spaces are filled with expanding polyurethane foam so that the artifacts will not move.