By C. Wayne Smith
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Additional resources for Archaeological Conservation Using Polymers: Practical Applications for Organic Artifact Stabilization (Texas A&M University Anthropology Series)
The purpose of early experimentation was not to discredit the value of PEG in the preservation of waterlogged wood. On the contrary, research initiatives were directed at improving and strengthening the knowledge base for using PEG in archaeological preservation. While PEG is by far the most widely used bulking agent for the preservation of waterlogged wood, its basic characteristics oﬀer some challenges for the long-term well-being of preserved wood. The posttreatment hygroscopic nature of PEG is a concern when the carbowax compound is used for the long-term curation of structurally damaged, waterlogged wooden artifacts.
All the buttons with attached threads were dipped in CR- and then carefully surfacedried. This made the threads more ﬂexible. 27 Fig. . Buttons draining on a screen after polymer/ cross-linker treatment. Fig. . Button immersed in polymer/crosslinker solution: (A) beaker; (B) polymer/ cross-linker solution; (C) aluminum screen; (D) button. Fig. . Buttons being prepared for the vapor catalyst deposition process. 28 Inspection revealed the individual strands of the threads were well preserved and not clumped together.
26 a Ziploc bag for several days, as long as fresh catalyst is added daily. After catalyzation, allow the artifact to sit in a fume hood for one or two days. The smell of the catalyst will dissipate quickly. Case Study: Waterlogged Wooden Buttons with and without Associated Thread Fig. . The artifact in a Ziploc bag with a dish containing several grams of CT- catalyst. After their recovery from the shipwreck La Belle, wooden buttons with and without associated thread were stored in freshwater.