Small fragment of papyrus inscribed in black ink on both sides with part of a Coptic text.
- Found/Acquired: Egypt
- Height: 7.8 centimetres
- Width: 4.8 centimetres
Inscription Positionrecto and verso
Inscription CommentParts of 11 lines on the recto and a single line on the verso, probably the address.
20 February 2013
Remove from unsuitable frames. Repair and remount between glass.
The fragment is mounted between Perspex® and held in place with tabs of double sided transparent tape on the verso. The frame is of inconvenient size (quite small), unsuitable for handling and conservation. The poor quality wood frame is bound in Kraft paper tape.The papyrus fragment is in relative good state, though brittle on the edges and weakened by the Perspex electrostaticity. There are several turnovers and twisted fibres.
Documentation consisting in photographs at different stages of the treatment (before, during and after) and tracing of the fragment outline was undertaken. Observation under Mantis microscope (x10) was done several times through the treatment to check the state of the fragment. Documentation about collection history was researched and gathered.The inks were tested for solubility in water and in water and IMS (50-50). Lightly soluble in water, but less in 50-50 water-IMS.The frame was opened using electrostatic gun to remove electric charge from the Perspex before opening (proved inefficient). The fragment was then removed from the back Perspex mechanically using scalpel, after light humidification (damp blotters and Gore-Tex) to relax the fibres and gain plasticity. Solubility tests have been undertaken on samples from the double-sided tape. It has shown the following results:-non-soluble in water, cold or warm.-non-soluble in IMS (it has been noticed that the adhesive was even hardening a little)-acetone: the adhesive is dissolving, but the evaporation of the solvent is fast.-IMS/acetone/toluene (1/1/1): the adhesive is dissolving, but we noticed a greasy-like residue that was not desirable.-Xylene: the adhesive is dissolving but leave a greasy residue behind.-Di-acetone: the adhesive is dissolving quite efficiently, and there is no obvious residue. We chose this solvent to remove the double-sided tape from the fragment. Di-acetone was applied with a brush on the tape. After several applications, the adhesive swelled and we were able to remove the carrier using tweezers. After other applications of solvent, the adhesive residues have been removed using cotton swabs dampened with di-acetone. The surface of the papyrus fragment was then cleaned with a soft brush. The fragment was humidified over damp blotters and Gore-Tex in a chamber until it could be realigned and repaired using pre-toned Japanese paper tabs and wheat starch paste. Twisted fibres and turnovers were laid down and pressed dry. The fragment has then been pressed dry under lightest weights. Remounted between glass sealed with Filmoplast® tape and buffered with Micro-chambers paper strips along the edges.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA72105
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