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Storage excavated materials in sotrage areas

Containers used for storage come in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials. Transparent polyethylene bags are very common for storing individual artifacts. Wood and cardboard are easy to find and economical, but not ideal for long-term storage. Remember Ordinance No. 196, of May 18, 2016 – IPHAN (Brazil) and the materials that are suggested for the safekeeping of collections. Larger containers must be sturdy, stackable and ideally sealable. Clear, sealable polypropylene boxes are very useful. If possible, buy a small number for sensitive and fragile materials like glass, ivory and metals.

Include materials such as blankets and inert polyethylene foam in the budget for the preparation of packaging for more sensitive materials. Extraordinarily large or complex objects may require custom containers. Human skeletons must be stored individually in boxes of neutral materials. Material for analysis, such as soil and flotation samples, coal and fauna remains, must be stored according to the specialist's instructions. Sturdy shelves, cabinets or drawers should be used to avoid stacking large amounts of containers and facilitate access. Metal open shelves are commonly used, sometimes padded with polyethylene foam. Artifacts placed on open shelves can be covered with polyethylene or another covering to protect them from dust, which is ubiquitous in any storage space. For the safety of the objects and the team that will handle the materials, heavy and heat-sensitive objects, including those restored with thermoplastic adhesives, must be kept on lower shelves. Shelves should be bolted to walls or floors, especially in areas subject to seismic activity.


When choosing storage containers, shelves, and other structures, be aware of potential damage from non-inert materials such as woods and paints, non-archival materials, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polystyrene, newspapers, and other materials that will degrade over time. over time and release noxious gases. Packages should also be well marked so that objects can be easily found without unnecessarily opening containers and handling the contents. An object can acquire many numbers during its journey from the field to its final storage box. The conservator responsible for storage should coordinate with the museum documentalist to ensure that the most useful identifying information is included on the storage packaging label. Information must be carefully written with markers that do not fade and do not deteriorate over time. The markup must be simple, consistent and written in clear, legible handwriting. A technical reserve must always be kept clean and organized. This shows that the artifacts are being properly cared for and can be easily retrieved by museum staff. Want to know more about conservation and management of archaeological materials?


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Tradução livre e adaptação: On-site Storage of Excavated Materials. Hiroko Kariya and Claire Peachey. Field Notes Practical Guides for Archaological Conservation and Site Preservation Number 9.

Imagens: Florida Museum - University of Georgia - Museum of Pennsylvania


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