CuTAWAY – Conservation and Wood Analyses
Wood has excellent material properties and is readily available. Therefore it has been used frequently in prehistoric times. In most cases, the organic material has decayed during burial but where wood has been preserved it plays a key role in archaeological research. The woody taxon used, the function of the object and information concerning the environment can be gained from the analysis of wooden objects. Moreover, precise dating is possible using dendrochronology. Therefore, the conservation of archaeological wooden objects, which are mainly preserved as waterlogged finds, is of great importance. A plethora of methods and conserving agents are currently applied to conserve archaeological waterlogged wood. In order to compare the various treatments different conservation methods have been applied on about 800 archaeological wooden samples in the framework of a project organized by the Römisch-Germanisches Zentralmuseum in Mainz (RGZM) and funded by KUR (Kulturstiftung des Bundes und der Länder. This reference collection will be analysed in order to quantify results of the conservation treatment (shrinkage, collapse and cracks) and the impact of the conservation method employed on investigations of archaeological wood (wood anatomy and dendrochronology).
The comparative analysis will be carried out using non-destructive, three dimensional methods, such as 3D-Scan und X-ray computed tomography and microscopic techniques. Additionally, the study of the samples aims at the optimisation of analytical and conservation methods to enable documentation of characteristic features of wood anatomy after conservation. By this means, the penetration of the conservation material and the effectiveness of the method will be recorded in detail in order to arrive at conclusions about the success of the conservation treatment.
Long-term stability will be analysed and evaluated by simulated aging tests on conserved wooden samples. The results will be documented in the KUR database with open access, and will in this way guarantee that archaeological wooden artefacts can be better studied and conserved for future generations.
- Eidgenössische Forschungsanstalt für Wald, Schnee und Landschaft, Organisationseinheit Landschaftsdynamik, Dendroökologie: Prof. Dr. Fritz Schweingruber
- Landesamt für Denkmalpflege Baden-Württemberg: Prof. Dr. D. Krausse, Priv.-Doz. Dr. Oliver Nelle
- Max-Planck-Institut für Biologische Kybernetik: Prof. Dr. Klaus Scheffler und Dr. Rolf Pohmann
- Museum of Cultural History, Oslo: Dr. Susan Braovac
- Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Stuttgart: Prof. Dr. G. Eggert, Prof. Dr. Christoph Krekel
- The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation: Prof. Dr. Nanna Bjerregaard Pedersen
- Universität Basel: Dr. Zarah Walsh-Korb
- Volume Graphics, Heidelberg: Dr. Daniela Handl
- Garcia-Martinez, Jorge
CuTAWAY: Conservation and Wood Analysis using X-Ray Computed Tomography, Presentation on 9.6.2020, Forschungsplenum, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts