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Subject: Plastination

Plastination

From: Valerie Tomlinson <vtomlinson<-at->
Date: Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Libby Frostick <l.frostick [at] hotmail__com> writes

>... I am currently writing my dissertation on the
>conservation of bog bodies. The focus of my dissertation is the use
>of the anatomical technique of plastination on the remains,
>comparing and contrasting this method with that of the freeze-drying
>technique, and examining the suitability of each method.

My (admittedly limited) understanding of plastination is that you
are replacing some chemical components of an object/organism (mostly
the most fluid and rot-able bits) with other, polymerizable
components, that are less prone (but not immune) to decay. This
means that you are not left with the original object but a copy of
the shape of the item. While this is a valuable tool for some
purposes, it is more in the realm of restoration than conservation.

I would be hesitant to use this technique with bog bodies, where
there is so much more of interest than just the shape of the body. I
think it would still be a useful technique in other areas, such as
natural history collections, where it is the shape of a specimen
that is the point of interest, and the ability to handle the
specimen is of value. With bog bodies, however, I think there would
be too much loss of information for it to be a useful technique.
That's just my opinion though.

Valerie Tomlinson
Conservator
Auckland War Memorial Museum
Tamaki Paenga Hira
The Domain
Private Bag 92018s
Auckland 1142, New Zealand
+64 9 306 7068


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                  Conservation DistList Instance 25:37
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Received on Tuesday, 31 January, 2012

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