In the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies

Conservator Tessa de Alarcon uses a portable x-ray fluorescence analyser to study a pre-Dynastic mummy in the Artifact Lab.

Our highly successful open conservation lab recently celebrated its first anniversary in September 2013. We have learned a lot in the past year (Number 1 question asked by visitors: “Is it real?”). Even though the objects being treated in the Artifact Lab have all been in our collections for many decades, the potential for new discoveries (or re-discoveries) has been amazing.

Rockwell Project Conservator Molly Gleeson unearthed and collated so much information about the autopsies carried out on four of our human mummies that Melissa Miller, a volunteer intern and student at the University of Delaware, is writing her Senior Thesis on the topic. A conservation student from the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne in France will be an intern in the Artifact Lab for six months, gaining experience in the conservation of Egyptian artifacts.

(Photo caption: Conservator Tessa de Alarcon uses a portable x-ray fluorescence analyser to study a pre-Dynastic mummy in the Artifact Lab.)


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