MOLA conservator Lucie Altenburg working on an inscribed Roman wine barrel lid (c) MOLA

Conservation

Our highly skilled conservators stabilise and investigate the vulnerable archaeological material we excavate. This allows for detailed study of the objects to reveal their production and use. We deal with large and complex assemblages from a wide range of site types on tight project schedules and carry out conservation procedures that prepare objects for examination, storage and display.

Our in-house conservation expertise allows us to respond rapidly to the needs of our projects and work to a high professional standard.

We offer a range of conservation services to support archaeological projects through to publication and archive. These include lifting vulnerable objects on site, stabilisation treatments, conservation assessment, X-radiography, investigative cleaning and advice on scientific analysis, reconstruction of objects, packing and storage advice for archive deposition and conservation reports. We have particular expertise in the conservation of wet organic material and have freeze-drying facilities for the conservation of leather and small wooden artefacts.  

We offer high-quality fine detail digital X-ray of objects of archaeological metal finds, composite objects and organic materials such as bone and ceramics. The digital X-ray images produced meet Historic England archive guidelines and can be provided in a range of digital formats for display and media purposes. Our X-ray machine is large enough to X-ray items such as soil blocks for micro-excavation and longer items such as human femurs for osteological projects.

We provide advice and support for loans and displays of archaeological finds, guidance on display conditions, preparation of objects and marking, mount-making advice, condition report documentation and packing for transport and installation. We also offer conservation services, covering treatment, assessments and preventive conservation advice to archaeological archives and historic collections.

You can contact our team by emailing conservators@mola.org.uk

Meet the Specialists

Our team of Specialists comprises internationally acclaimed experts in a range of topics, from osteoarchaeology, environmental archaeology and archaeological conservation to period- and type-specific finds specialisms. They not only ensure all the material we excavate is expertly analysed and published, they also undertake pioneering research.

zooarchaeologist working with animal bones