Scientific Investigation

To date, in collaboration with HCP, the GCI has carried out scientific investigations to address a number of conservation issues at the site. These scientific investigations have provided an opportunity to better understand the conditions of the excavated archaeological material (including but not limited to structures, wall paintings and other decorative features) and the various conservation materials and methods used in the past. The goal of this investigative process has been to provide relevant information to those responsible for the conservation of the site to take optimal decisions and together create a body of knowledge that can inform future conservation practice. The aims of the scientific research have been:

  • To assist HCP in identifying deterioration phenomena and priorities for conservation of the site;
  • To support HCP by carrying out analytical and diagnostic investigations of these phenomena and undertaking technical examination and deterioration monitoring;
  • To support the development and assessment of specific conservation interventions, such as injection grouting for the stabilization of wall paintings, plasters, and mosaics;
  • To use the latest advances in conservation science technologies for the study of injection grouts, archaeological glass, carbonized wood, and wall paintings;
  • To provide opportunities for GCI and other scientists to test and employ noninvasive portable equipment on site and to improve methodologies for measurement and data interpretation.

One of the areas of scientific study, the conservation of flaking paint on the figurative scenes on wall paintings, has become the focus of current activities by the collaborative GCI-HCP-SANP project.

laser speckle interferometry conservators at Herculaneum
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polynomial texture mapping

Page updated: April 2012