To Do: Migrate


A variety of materials and methods have been used to preserve ceramic vessels. Many have proven successful, while others are damaging. Monitoring and evaluation of past treatments is a documented research priority in the conservation field. The Arizona State Museum (ASM) has examined, recorded and analyzed the performance of past treatments on the museum’s collection. Previous grant funds enabled a condition assessment of 20,000 southwest vessels and a modern storage facility. NCPTT funds were used to monitor and evaluate previous preservation treatments. This research has afforded the opportunity to look forwards and backwards to identify patterns in archaeological methods, museum management and conservation.

The collection of whole ceramic vessels at the Arizona State Museum (ASM) spans nearly 2000 years and encompasses all the major cultures and historical periods of the Southwestern United States.  The survey including the examination of adhesives was undertaken and has resulted in valuable information about the conservation and repair history of the vessels. By using visible examination, chemical spot testing, UV auto fluorescence, and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) distinctive patterns of adhesive use have revealed how cultural groups, archaeologists, and conservators have used adhesives and repair techniques over time. Assessing the results will allow conservators to develop treatment strategies and prioritize conservation resources according to the needs of the collection.  The opportunity to reconstruct early repair practices provides the museum conservators and curators with a valuable tool to evaluate, protect, and study this important collection.

National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
645 University Parkway
Natchitoches, LA 71457

Email: ncptt[at]
Phone: (318) 356-7444
Fax: (318) 356-9119