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Iron spear-head with long shank, very narrow in the centre on account of corrosion, with both ends also severely corroded. The blade is leaf-shaped and the socket is split. Part of the wooden shaft of another spear adheres to this spear-head.
- early 7thC
- Excavated/Findspot: Sutton Hoo, Ship-burial Mound: 1
- (Europe,United Kingdom,England,Suffolk,Sutton (parish),Sutton Hoo)
- Swanton D2 type
- Length: 38.1 centimetres
- Width: 3 centimetres
- Diameter: 1.8 centimetres (socket)
On display: G41/dc1/sD
1980 10 Mar-30 Sep, Sweden, Stockholm, Statens Historika Museum, The Vikings are Here
19 December 2013
Reason for treatment
Seperate fused items as posssible, remove from mount.Check and secure any loose services. Remove any excess soil and corrosion to improve surface appearance.
Object is fairly unstable suffering from surface loss and is fragmentary. This is due to either previous wax joins failing or fresh breaks.The object is still covered in sand and has excess volumous corrosion, which is obscuring the objects surface. The object has been impregnated in wax from a previous conservation treatment which covers the surface, and there are also wax and epoxy repairs which are fairly visible.
Before treatment the object was X-radiographed, this was used to investigate any interesting manufacturing features and to understand the objects structural stability during cleaning.Removed excess sand and corrosion using a scalpel and stiff brush to improve the surface appearance. Once all of the initial loose surface sand and corrosion was removed the object was de-waxed as far as possible by submerging in White Spirit (composition variable - petroleum distillate) and brushing. This helped to remove surface wax which restored the object more closely to its true colour and loosen any more sand still attached to the surface. This also helped to reveal previous repairs of either wax or epoxy putty. (If the section had a lot of preserved wood present on the surface then this was avoided by using large saturated swabs rather then submerging the whole piece).This treatment proved best for de-waxing the surface of the object, however due to the wax being impregnated deep into the objects honeycomb-like structure it was not possible to totally de-wax the object. Both poulticing and heat gun treatments were tested but did not prove as satisfactory as White spirits.The object was then further cleaned using mechanical techniques using a scalpel and pliers to remove further excess sand and excess corrosion, whilst referring to the X-radiograph to ensure this would not cause any damage to the object (e.g. open large corrosion pockets or remove possible evidence of rivets). Air abrasive was also to remove and cut through any large areas of distorting corrosion bubbles and as a final step to remove any last loose sand, wax deposits or unwanted epoxy putty.Where possible fragments and sections of the object were reconstructed using Araldite (epoxy). Any gaps which required a supportive filling were done so using Microballoons (silica or phenolic resin) and 50% Paraloid B72 (ethyl methacrylate copolymer) in Acetone (propan-1-one/dimethyl ketone). These were then toned in with the object using Liquitex acrylic artist colour (composition unknown).
Britain, Europe and Prehistory
Group of Objects
Iron spear-head in four pieces, heavily oxidised, with a short length of the stem and the beginning of the socket preserved. Pieces of wood and a large quantity of textile remains are corroded onto the blade.
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Object reference number: MCS8321
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