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Conservation of a ceramic hydria from Modi Island
The hydria is almost completely preserved. Part of the body and a fragment of the shoulder are missing. The body of the vessel is round with a high neck. Two horizontal cylindrical handles are attached to the body while a vertical handle connects the rim with the shoulder. The painted decoration of the vessel includes three parallel stripes close to the shoulders and two parallels stripes on the body of the vessel. At the edge of the handles holes are located. The hydria consists of 33 fragments from different groups.
The conservation procedure included a detailed description of the condition of the object, desalination, mechanical cleaning, identification of the pottery fragments, drying, gluing and documentation of the aforementioned activities.
Desalination is a rather time consuming procedure because the object needs to be washed first in seawater, subsequently in tap water and finally in distilled water. The transition from the one stage of desalination to the other is based on measurements of conductance. The desalination process is considered to be complete when the conductance's values are close to the conductance's value of tap water. The mechanical cleaning of the fragments consisted of two stages. The desalination and the mechanical cleaning are taking place in parallel (first stage). At that stage the largest amount of depositions is removed. During the second stage, the fragments are cleaned after being dried.. Mechanical means such as scalper, brush, ultrasound scraper, buffer etc. have been applied for cleaning.
Locally, wherever necessary, the painted decoration is stabilized by a solution (Primal Ac 33) leading to excellent results despite the long remaining time of the fragments in water. The drying of the fragments is supported by a solution of ethanol (1:1), and finally by ethanol. The fragments of the vessel were glued with Paraloid B72.
The surface of fragments contained calcium depositions consisting of red algae, bryozoa, sediments of calcium carbonate and flora depositions. In some cases the depositions were so massive, creating encrustations, completely covering the surface of the fragments.
Painted decoration on the shoulder and on the body of the vessel appeared after the cleaning. The vessel was not aesthetically restored, since it is an ongoing underwater archaeological research.
The conservation of the ancient objects may reveal important information for further scientific study of the object, except of its rescue and restoration.


Funding: Ministry of Culture and Sports

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Year:

01/01/2010 -

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Personnel:

Smaragda Symeonidou
Conservator

Paizi Despoina, Papanikou Spyridoula
Conservators

Bibliography:

  • Florian, E.M-L, The Underwater Enviroment, in Concervation of Marine Archaelogical Objects. Pearwon, C., 1987
  • Pearson, C.1987:Conservasion of Ceramics Glass and Stone in The conservation of marine Archaeological Obiects., C. Pearson (ed) Butterworths, 1987, London, 253-267
  • Λαμπρόπουλος, Β. 1993 Κεραμεικά: Τεχνολογία, Διάβρωση και Συντήρηση Αθήνα, Athens, 1993
  • Σαραμαντή Θ. Μωρϊτου, Α. 1994: Η Συντήρηση των κεραμεικών ευρημάτων του ναυαγίου του Δοκού. Ενάλια, τόμος ΙΙΙ, ΤΕΎΧΗ 3/4,, 1991, σελ. 32-40
  • , Cronyn, J.M., The Elements of Archaeological Conservation, Routledge, London, 1990

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