Fulford battlefied under threat

July 2014 dig

The Fulford Tapestry

Ferrous conservation

Summary of published report

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Conservation & Storage

English Heritage produced a guide to Archeaometallurgy during 2001. With the help of the experts at YAT, especially the team led by Jim Spriggs, the project was able to follow the recommended model closely. The initiation and planning phases took over a year. The fieldwork itself began in January 2003 and finished in March 2005.

The non-ferrous items were separated, while the ferrous material was crudely cleaned to remove excess mud. The bags were marked with the area code and put into bins filled with a column of silica gel with the bags left open to allow moisture to escape. Large assemblages were often split into several bags at this stage and delicate material packed in separate, padded bags.

This method was adopted about 9 months into the metal detecting project. However, before this system was fully implemented some of the early finds suffered as a result of rapid drying.

Many finds were later repackaged to insert more, inert cushioning material and the bags were then perforated. The items were also categorised by a team of metal-detectorists to select those that were to go for x-ray. The bags were marked cat I, II or III as a simple measure of triage to limit the quantity sent for x-ray, with only the cat I items going for expert inspection. The ferrous assemblage includes about 1100 items with about 400 going for x-ray and expert inspection.[i]

The inspection took place in two sessions. The x-rays were examined and items then extracted from the assemblage for examination. This assessment of the items began the long process of analysis and interpretation.



[i] The numbers are approximate since some items have broken, typically when the crust separated from the underlying item.

conservation bin

Conservation bin: One of the conservation bins, designed by Jim Spriggs from York Archaeological Trust, in which items are stored. There is a ‘central’ column, perforated and packed with silica gel to remove the moisture. A moisture indicator was placed on the top of each bin and monitored several times each year when the gel was removed and dried. In this picture, the air-tight lid is removed and the column is displaced to the right but it was normally placed in the centre. The items were dried over several years.

 

 

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There is a site devoted to saving the battlesite: The site has the story of the process that has allowed the site to be designated an access road to a Green Belt, floodplain housing estate.

And another website for the Fulford Tapestry that tells the story of the September 1066: This tells the story embroidered into the panels.

The author of the content is Chas Jones - fulfordthing@gmail.com  last updated February 2015

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