Characterization of Adhesive on Ancient Egyptian Wooden Statue

Gabriela Frid
Gabriela Frid ('16) is a junior majoring in Biomedical Medical Engineering. Through one of her focus area classes she was able to learn numerous characterization techniques that have a wide range of applications, from new biomedical imaging systems, to ancient Egyptian archeological questions.

ECM2167Characterization of Adhesive on Ancient Egyptian Wooden Statue: What was Applied and When?

A wooden statue from the Tomb of Mesehti from Egypt has an unknown adhesive applied to one of its arms, which has since fallen off. It is also unknown when this adhesive was applied, and how to remove it if it was not present on the statue in its original form. The final project for the Materials Characterization class was to attempt to classify this adhesive through the use of various characterization tests. Based on the results from Optical Microscopy, FTIR, Raman Spectroscopy, and SEM/EDX, the adhesive is believed to have been applied within the last 100 years in a conservation attempt, and is believed to be a synthetic resin that is potentially acrylic or epoxy. Thus the next step is to figure out its exact chemical composition in order to develop a safe method of removal.

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