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Title: Exploring the application of instrumental analysis for the conservation of textiles excavated in Greece
Author: Margariti, Christina
ISNI:       0000 0004 2677 9665
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is one outcome of research aimed to raise the awareness of textiles excavated in Greece. The inherently sensitive nature of excavated textiles accounts for the rarity and poor condition of the finds, making them more often than not unidentifiable for the archaeologists, a conservation challenge and a puzzle for textile historians/curators. Conservators are often the intermediary between the objects they care for and the people for whom these objects are preserved. Analytical methods of investigation provide a means of increasing understanding of excavated textiles, and in this way enhance their conservation. Hence, it was decided to experiment with certain nondestructive, instrumental analytical methods of investigation, namely stereo, optical and electron microscopy, coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy (ESEM-EDS), FTIR and Raman microspectroscopy, and XRF spectroscopy, with the aim of material characterisation and identification. A survey through the Archives of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture revealed 65 different cases where textiles had been preserved in burial contexts. Four different environments favorable for the preservation of textiles in Greece were identified and four finds representative of these conditions were selected and subjected to instrumental analysis. The finds are the main case study, ‘Argos’ (found in association with copper), and ‘Theva’ (found in a charred state), ‘Kalyvia’ (found impregnated with calcium salts) and ‘Nikaia’ (found in association with copper and in anoxic conditions). The quality of the results varied according to the type of preservation and the condition of the finds. The combination of stereomicroscopy, ESEM-EDS, XRF and FTIR gave the most reliable results. The outcomes of the experimentation formed the basis for the development of guidelines, designed to help archaeologists, conservators and textile historians/curators to understand and thereby conserve excavated textiles in Greece.
Supervisor: Wyeth, Paul Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: T Technology (General) ; CC Archaeology