Project: Development of Storage and Assessment methods suited for organic Archaeological artefacts

Acronym StAr (Reference Number: JPICH-0163)
Duration 01/04/2020 - 31/03/2023
Project Topic Although much work has been done on conservation treatments of archaeological collections, there are few studies available in two critical situations involving the preand posttreatment phases: Archaeological Organic artefacts are generally found in a waterlogged state which must be maintained until treatment as they cannot support air drying. One of the topics of this project deals with developing strategies that permit storage of organic archaeological finds for long durations (several months) in the waterlogged state, i.e. under pretreatment conditions, without compromising the scientific evidence they contain. Several methods of controlling storage conditions will be tested on real archaeological wooden and leather samples. The experimentations will be carried out by samples analysis of the organic materials before and after their storage period. Experiments are foreseen in a true archaeological excavation context (Biskupin site Poland). The second topic aims at setting up efficient and practical methods to assess the degradation over time of archaeological organic artefacts, i.e. to assess their posttreatment conditions. Knowledge of the impact of environmental conditions and of conservation treatments will allow earlier identification of potential degradation, which in turn offers better protection of the objects and more costeffective mitigation measures. The main objective is to establish an assessment protocol on treated and untreated archaeological materials, artificially or natural aged. These practical assessment methods well suited for museums/storage facilities, will be validated by advanced analytical techniques to observe the reality of the degradation. This project further intends to reinforce interdisciplinary approaches among archaeologists, conservators and scientists in order to improve the sustainability of protection practices and enhancement of values. The expected results will involve field practices both for the stabilization of waterlogged artefacts for excavation situations and for degradation assessments in museums.
Network JPI Cultural Heritage
Call Joint research on conservation, protection and use of cultural heritage

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
1 Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives GRENOBLE Coordinator France
2 University of Oslo Partner Norway
3 University of Pisa Partner Italy
4 Poznan University of Life Science Partner Poland