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Basic Conservation Procedures In An Archaeological Site

April 21, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 198

What do you mean by Archaeological survey? A survey conducted to accurately report about the finds on an archaeological site is known as archaeological survey. This survey is usually done to determine the age of a particular artifact or a particular site.

Conservation must be a part of any archaeological project and this is especially true for wet sites. Wet sites are those archaeological sites that are located in bogs, oceans and rivers. Of the wet sites, those found in salt water, present the greatest challenge to the conservator.

This is simply because artifacts from a marine environment are saturated with salt that must be separated when an artifact is found. In addition, the salt-water environment accelerates the deterioration processes of a lot of metal artifacts. If the salt is not removed and the artifacts treated in an appropriate way, they will deteriorate over time and become worthless as a diagnostic or museum display sample.

Factors that should be kept in mind by the archaeological project director prior to any excavation:

- Anticipate whatever you find in the archaeological project, be it a survey, testing or a full-scale excavation. - Be alert of the types of breakdown, deterioration, and degradation that the recovered objects may go through. - Always take someone along who has a lot of experience in this field so that he can help with the excavation to ensure that the recovered objects are properly treated. - Always arrange for the preservation for the artefacts that may be recovered, before initiating any operation. This may even include placing a contract with an existing laboratory or establishing special facilities for the project.

In the latter, you should ensure that the laboratory is being taken care of by a conservator who has a lot of experience in the field of conservation of artefacts and is properly equipped. Whatever artefacts are recovered from the excavation should be kept under strict vigilance of an experienced conservator until they are taken care off.

In short, artefacts should be handled with utmost care. It is the duty of the archaeologist to take complete care of the artefact. An archaeological project does not end in the field, but continues in the laboratory.

This is simply because the amount of basic archaeological statistics recovered in the laboratory is similar to that recovered in the field. The information and records from both the field and the conservation laboratory have to be synthesized in the correct order for the archaeological record to be properly interpreted. Hence, all these procedures should be kept in mind while excavating an archaeological site. The results of an archaeological site are kept as a record that is used to compare further surveys of other archaeological sites.

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Source: EzineArticles
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