3.9 Conservation science

Conservation is itself a science-based discipline which is undertaken in laboratories, workshops and studios across the public and private sectors in Scotland. Conservation work often makes use of some of the analytical techniques listed above, some of which may exist in-house (eg X-radiography at AOC archaeology). The very nature of conservation involves detailed study of individual objects, and this often has the potential to reveal new information about technology and history of use, see the ScARF Case Study on the Carpow logboat. ICON Scotland, the Scottish branch of the Institute of Conservation, communicate and co-ordinate across the sector, but there is considerable scope for closer working with professional archaeology where funding can be made available.

Table 8: Selected examples of conservation science

Material Type of analysis Publication Comment
Waterlogged wood LC Skinner 2001 Conservation and preservation of waterlogged wood
17th century pocket watch Micro CT Troalen et al. 2010 Details of highly corroded watch revealed
Metals Electrochemistry Spencer 2002 Application of potentiostatic reduction to treatment of leaded copper alloys.
Egyptian mummies CT McLeod et al. 2000 Ongoing project, extensive research into NMS mummy collection
Royal Forteviot Dagger Burial  X-radiography http://www.aocarchaeology.com/pdf/Forteviot_dagger.pdf