Wood degradation through conservation - a look into the problems of the Oseberg finds

Susan Braovac (Kulturhistorisk museum, UiO) will present us...

What I have been working on is the deterioration of the alum-treated Oseberg finds (which does not include the famous Oseberg ship). We have only recently discovered that this extreme degradation originated from the conservation method itself. In the early 1900s alum salts were the best method for conserving these finds, but time has shown that the acidity produced during the conservation treatment has resulted in a slow deterioration of the wood components. Today the condition for many of these important finds is in a precarious state. My work has focused on characterizing the current chemical state of the wood polymers. This work was undertaken within the context of a larger project, Saving Oseberg, which includes a multidisciplinary research team comprised of chemists and conservators working together towards reconservation of the alum-treated Oseberg finds.

Published Sep. 15, 2014 10:53 PM - Last modified Oct. 30, 2014 11:08 AM