Site Unseen!

I was recently asked to submit a treatment proposal for a large collection of archaeological materials and I needed to predict what treatments would be used. The caveat was that I was not able to see the collection because it had not been excavated yet.

This situation is fairly common in archaeological conservation. You need to prepare for a field season not knowing what will need conservation, how it will need to be treated, or how much will need to be treated. Most experienced archaeological conservators can estimate what will be involved by using past experience in the region or past seasons at the site or by using similar sites or collections to estimate what will be excavated in a given time period or over a specific area. With restrictions on traveling with chemicals and space and weight always being a concern, it can be difficult to accurately predict treatments.

Be sure to choose a professional that has experience in field and remote environments. It can be a daunting task to prepare for all possible scenarios!

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