Cleaning, Consolidation, & Joining

June 2016

A 1st Cen BCE common ware plate from a tomb in Elce, Perugia, Italy in the care of the Umbrian Archeological Superintendent. This object was treated as part of the San Gemini Preservation Studies Field School program (June 2016).

Essentially I was handed a bag of sherds and asked to determine if any formed individual ceramic objects. From there the sherds were cleaned and consolidated, put back together, and the gaps in the plate infilled. I was not able to do the final infill due to size and material constraints, but the remaining pigmented Polyfilla was returned to the superintendency with the plate should they want to complete it.

Treatment Pathway

  1. Matching pieces from a bag of 100+ same context sherds

  2. Mechanically removed post excavation surface dirt using a scalpel 

  3. Wet cleaned sherds with a solution of ethanol and deionized water to remove ground in dirt

  4. Consolidated sherd surfaces using B72 2.5% in Acetone

  5. Break edges consolidated with one coat each of B72 5% and 10% in Acetone

  6. Joined sherds using B72 25% in Acetone

  7. Began infilling areas of loss using Polyfilla tinted with earth pigments

  8. Consolidated infills with one coat of B72 1.5% in Acetone

Total Time: 15 hours