X-ray and photograph of sword and pommel

About this image

Iron sword from the Viking Cemetery at Townfoot Farm, Cumwhitton, Cumbria. Detail of the pommel and its accompanying X-radiogaph shows the remains of the intricate inlaid decoration © Historic England

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).

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.

Learn more

Waterlogged Organic Artefacts

Published 28 September 2018

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.

Learn more

Investigative Conservation

This guidance publication has been archived because it is no longer our current advice.

If you would like to get a digital copy for your information only please email Guidance supplying the title, author, and publication date.

Was this page helpful?