4.16 Conservation Assessment

by Glynis Edwards (AML) *

The material on the whole is in good condition and none of the materials are very heavily corroded. The bone combs are fragmentary but the pieces are reasonably sound, although corrosion of the rivets has caused some distortion.

The coins have been X-radiographed and a numismatist will identify any that need clarification. This will be carried out by the removal of soil and possibly corrosion. XRF analysis will be carried out on any 'white metal' coatings.

Some copper alloy artefacts may need removal of soil or corrosion to clarify any decoration. XRF analysis will be carried out on 'white' or 'yellow' metal coatings. If it is decided to publish these artefacts by using photography, more extensive work will need to be carried out. This will be left until final decisions on material for publication have been made. During the examination of the copper alloy, discussions will be carried out with Justine Bayley (Roman) and Cath Mortimer (Saxon) about possible analytical and other investigative programmes. The artefacts will also be examined for any mineral-preserved organic material.

It has been decided to publish the ironwork using X-radiographs, so the only removal of soil and corrosion will be to reveal details that cannot be shown by X-radiography or the clarification of mineral-preserved organic material. Glynis Edwards and Jacqui Watson will examine any such preserved organic material with a view to identification of materials and possible reconstruction of organic artefacts. Particular attention will be paid to the group of possible heckle/wool comb teeth to confirm the identification if possible. The metallurgy of the knives and possibly other tools will be examined in conjunction with Dave Starley.

Comparisons will be made between late Roman material and Saxon material and the latter will be compared with that from the cemetery. Groups covered will include the knives and also any mineral-preserved organic material. Although such remains would not be expected to be as extensive as those from the cemetery, they may provide some possibility of identification. This will be an opportunity to compare such material from a settlement and cemetery which, as far as we know, has not been carried out before (e.g. Mucking).

Some time may be required for consolidation and reconstruction of some of the prehistoric ceramic material; the time requirement can only be decided once the analytical process has been begun. In any event the quantities of material are likely to be fairly small.


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Last updated: Tue Dec 15 1998