JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 2, Article 3 (pp. 167 to 192)
JAIC online
Journal of the American Institute for Conservation
JAIC 2003, Volume 42, Number 2, Article 3 (pp. 167 to 192)

THE ANCIENT EGYPTIAN COLLECTION AT THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS, BOSTON. PART 1, A REVIEW OF TREATMENTS IN THE FIELD AND THEIR CONSEQUENCES

SUSANNE GÄNSICKE, PAMELA HATCHFIELD, ABIGAIL HYKIN, MARIE SVOBODA, & C. MEI-AN TSU



3 ARTIFACT PROCESSING IN THE FIELD

Although Reisner has been praised for his extensive documentation, field treatment records from excavations he oversaw are virtually nonexistent. That objects were cleaned, strengthened, and joined becomes evident from comparisons of photographs taken at various stages in the field, but exactly when, where, and how remains obscure. The lack of documentation of treatments was not uncommon for excavations or museum practice of the time.

Ceramics, faience and small stone artifacts were typically reconstructed in the field so that their profiles and measurements could be recorded in the excavation logbooks, although Reisner never discussed what adhesives were used in these reconstructions. Polychromed wood was routinely stabilized with wax or varnish in the field to minimize loss of painted surfaces. There seems to have been minimal restoration of metal artifacts. Some largescale stone sculptures were reconstructed in Egypt, as was furniture from the tomb of Hetepheres. Choices of restoration materials were undoubtedly based on availability and on what was propagated by contemporaneous excavators.


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