Conservation

Download the conservation capability statement (PDF 146kb)

Conservation ensures the long-term survival of excavated material by stabilisation of vulnerable material and the preventive care of the finds archive as a whole.

Conservators also work with excavators and finds specialists to contribute to the study and understanding of the finds through analysis and investigative work. Our experienced staff work with archaeological units, private and public collections. They are also available for lectures and workshops on all aspects of our work.

On-site conservation

On-site conservation services include the recovery of large or fragile objects from excavations, ranging from mosaic floors to complex burial assemblages, the conservation of standing structural remains, advice on the preservation of archaeological deposits in situ and advice on mitigation strategies and reburial of structural remains and archaeological features.

Analysis and investigative conservation

Analysis and investigative conservation includes work on all object and material types; full documentation is provided, with technical reports where appropriate. Compositional analysis and investigation of artefact technologies are covered, as well as conservation and stabilisation of all materials for archive deposition, including wet organics. We also have freeze-drying facilities for the conservation of leather and small wooden artefacts, plus a tank for the treatment of larger structural timbers.

Preventive conservation

Preventive conservation work includes collections management programmes to assess the condition of archives and the performance of earlier treatments using the latest statistical techniques. Condition surveys and reports on public and private collections can be carried out on site or at our fully equipped lab at the Museum of London.

Advice is available for the care of finds on site, packaging and storage and assistance prior to display, including the testing of display case and archive materials through accelerated ageing tests.

Our conservators also work with forensic archaeologists to preserve material evidence for long term storage and study:

  • recovery of large or fragile objects from site, from mosaic floors to complex assemblages
  • on-site conservation of standing structural remains
  • advice on the preservation of archaeological deposits in situ
  • advice on mitigation strategies and reburial of structural remains and archaeological features.