Conservation and professional storage of iron artefacts
Funded through the KUR – Programme for the Conservation of Moveable Cultural Assets
In contrast to most iron-wrought arts and crafts or technical iron constructions, it is extremely difficult to prevent the corrosion of archaeological iron artefacts. Although scientists and conservators have had some success in developing ways to preserve large discoveries of iron specimens for research and presentation in past decades, they have not achieved a decisive breakthrough.
The main focus of this KUR project, therefore, was to develop methods and procedures to prevent chloride corrosion of mass archaeological finds and help preserve those that are currently in danger of decay. The collection at the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle served as the reference sample (with ca. 2,000 iron artefacts).
The challenges facing conservators at the State Agency for Historic Landmark Preservation were typical of those facing many other German and European historic landmark preservation agencies and museums. The scientific, problem-solving strategies developed by the project generated helpful methods for other archaeological collections.
State Agency for Historic Landmark Preservation and Archaeology in Saxony-Anhalt, State Museum of Prehistory, Halle
Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design