Ragged linen cloth decorated with purple medallion: naked male figure with cloak and shield with tondo surrounded by representations of lions and dogs(?).
- Found/Acquired: Akhmim
- (Africa,Egypt,Upper Egypt,Akhmim)
- Length: 38 centimetres
- Width: 37.5 centimetres
21 October 1998
Reason for treatment
Remove from glazed frame. Surface clean, remove folds and creases. Prepare for storage in Melinex sleeves.
Inappropriately housed, glued to acidic cardboard in glazed frames - broken glass. Folded and creased. Surface dust, soiling and glass splinters. Crushed and overcrowded.
Removed from glazed frame, and from cardboard. Cardboard and adhesive residues removed using poultice of 7% Laponite RD (sodium magnesium lithium silicate) in distilled water. Fragment surface cleaned using low powered vacuum suction and soft brush. Creases and folds relaxed through humidification process using Goretex (polytetrafluoro ethylene,polyester laminate). The fragment was then housed in a sleeve of Melinex (polyester), sealed along one edge using the polyester welding machine. This sleeve was then in turn placed inside a pre-made Melinex pocket, sealed on two sides, which could be subdivided to accommodate upto 4 fragments. The Melinex pockets were stored in acid free board boxes. The fragment was selected for mounting onto a padded board. Two pieces of Correx (polypropylene/polyethylene copolymer), were cut to a standard size, cross-plyed and laminated. The board was covered with a cushioning layer of cotton domet and an outer layer of appropriately dyed cotton calico. The fragment was attached to the board using conservation stitching, worked in dyed mono-filament silk thread. After treatment the fragment was placed in an acid-free box for long-term storage.
13 February 2001
Reason for analysis
Analysis of Coptic Textile Fragments (EA 18223)
While conserving Coptic textiles it was noted that several fragments had an oily,brown, often opaque material lodged between the interstices of the fibres as well assmall amounts of residue on the surface. Previous literature on Coptic burial techniqueshas shown that this material may relate to the embalming process, where a mixture ofcedar oil and honey was employed. A sample was taken for analysis.A second group of fragments from the collection had a white deposit on thesurface and analysis was requested to determine what the deposit was and if it wasdetrimental to the long-term preservation of the fragments.Analysis of dye from a sample of a purple section of one of the fragments (EA18223) was also requested.DYE ANALYSISThe purple sample was analysed at the same time and under the same conditionsas the Jordanian Textile project (2000/12). The dye extract was analysed by twoinjections onto the HPLC, one monitored at 435 nm and the other at 600 nm. The 435nm trace indicated the presence of alizarin and purpurin, i.e. madder, and the 600 nmtrace indicted the presence of indigo. The mixture of madder and indigo would accountfor the purple colour and is a similar result to that obtained for the Jordanian textiles.WHITE DEPOSITAnalysis of the white deposit by FTIR microscopy and XRD gave no indication ofits constitution. Analysis by SEM indicated the presence of carbon, oxygen, aluminium,silicon, sulphur and calcium, with traces of sodium, magnesium and nitrogen. This isgenerally indicative of the presence of a clay.ORGANIC DEPOSITAgain the sample was analysed by FTIR microscopy but no identification waspossible. As the sample was thought to be a honey or oil a sample was extracted in boiling was dried onto KBr which was pressed in to a disc and analysed by FTIR. Theonly identification possible was that the extract was organic. This was confirmed by SEMwhich showed only the presence of carbon and oxygen with traces of nitrogen, sulphurand chlorine. Analysis using o-Toluidine reagent for the presence of gums and honeygave a negative result.1 Although this would indicate that there were no sugars or gumspresent the sample was quite small and may not have provided sufficient quantity for apositive result. These analyses used all of the sample taken and realistically furtheranalysis would require a technique such as GC-MS for identification.
Analysis reference number
Ancient Egypt & Sudan
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Object reference number: YCA70250
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