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Archaeological Conservation

Our guidelines are aimed at archaeologists, finds specialists and museum curators who are involved in the planning and publication of archaeological projects with an expected finds assemblage, as well as finds liaison officers and other museum staff advising metal detectorists. They provide advice on good conservation practice and indicate what project managers should expect from conservation practitioners.

They do not provide detailed practical conservation advice for fieldwork, and should be viewed as companion to other texts such as First Aid for Finds.

Watkinson, D and Neal V, First Aid for Finds (London: Rescue/UKICAS 2001)

You can contact our Science Advisors  for direct advice or contact our Archaeological Conservators for advice on specific subject areas.

Advice on facilities and conservation laboratories available for commercial and other work can be obtained from the Conservation Register of the Institute of Conservation (ICON).

On 1 April 2015 the part of English Heritage represented on this website changed its name to Historic England. You may notice that some of our content still refers to English Heritage. We are in the process of rebranding, but in the meantime please be assured that all our content and guidance is still current.

Guidelines on the X-radiography of archaeological metalwork

Guidelines on the X-radiography of archaeological metalwork

Published 1 January 2006

These guidelines provide recommendations on the minimum requirements for X-raying metal finds from archaeological projects. They are aimed at those who commission, manage or monitor projects that include metal.

Investigative Conservation

Investigative Conservation

Published 1 March 2008

Guidelines on how the detailed examination of artefacts from archaeological sites can shed light on their manufacture and use.

Waterlogged Organic Artefacts

Waterlogged Organic Artefacts

Published 1 March 2012

The guidelines are aimed at anyone working with waterlogged textile, leather, worked bone, horn or basketry and provide good practice advice from recovery through to archive deposition and publication.

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