Papyrus(fragment) with clay seal; illegible text. Mounted with 10130, 10135, 10138, 10453, 10457, 10459.
- Excavated/Findspot: Asyut, tomb (vicinity)
- (Africa,Egypt,Middle Egypt,Asyut)
Register says 'Found in some tombs in the hills behind Assiut'
18 October 2002
Reason for treatment
Remove papyri from old backings, repair, remount.
The fragment is mounted in a frame with 25 other fragments, some of which are adhered to cream backing paper and some inlaid, and all contained between a glass sandwich bound with linen tape. Several of the fragments have seals on them and so a spacer has been inserted inside the glass edges to avoid the pressure from the glass. Generally these seals, which rarely survive, are made from unbaked clay and are friable and insecurely attached to the papyrus. All the fragments have evidence of insect attack in the form of holes and/or surface damage. All those which have been inlaid into the backing paper are very fractured and cockled because they are unsupported by either backing or glass. This fragment is inlaid into the backing paper. The papyrus is dark and therefore the material is likely to be quite degraded. The ink is also faint. The remains of a large seal can be seen on the bottom right side of the fragment.
Examined seal under magnification, it is generally friable and contains large particles of calcite. The seal was consolidated with 2 applications of Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer), 2.5% in xylene. The papyrus surface was too fragile for surface cleaning but a misplaced fragment adhere to the surface was removed and placed to one side before facing up. Faced with strips of Spider tissue using Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) (10%) applied by brush, avoiding the seal. The inks were not tested on the unfaced side because the seal was too fragile to turn the fragment over. Based on the experience of the inks on these fragments so far, it was found that minimal moisture was safe and so moisture was applied through Gore-tex. The paper inlay was removed with tweezers after applying damp blotters, through Gore-tex, to inlaid side under weighted glass. Realigned as far as possible and repaired with Japanese paper tabs [pre-toned with Aquarell watercolours] using Abra starch (wheat starch) paste. Dried between fresh blotters, with holes cut in the top layers to accomodate the seal without pressure, under weighted glass. Removed facing with tweezers after applying acetone soaked blotters to whole under glass. Again, a hole was cut in the blotting paper around the seal. A small fragment of clay fell away from the seal on the underside. Therefore a piece of Japanese paper was applied to the papyrus to support it, using Abra starch (wheat starch) paste. The repair paper was pasted at the edges only and adhered to the papyrus only. For mounting a melinex sheet with holes cut for the seals is to be placed over the papyri to support the recto. During fitting of this melinex a small piece of clay dislodged, this was placed back using thick Abra starch (wheat starch).Mounted between glass with 10130, 10135, 10138, 10453, 10457 and 10459 which also have large seals. Because the frame needs spacers to accommodate the height of the seals, a method was needed to keep the papyrus flat as it would not be in contact with the recto glass. Therefore, a sheet of Melinex with holes cut around the seals was placed over the fragments. Spacers, made of strips of acid-free board, were then attached to the inside edges of the recto glass with Abra wheat starch paste. With the Melinex and spacers in place the mount was sealed in the normal way.
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA70560
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