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Portable Fiber Laser Cleans Ancient Tomb

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:55 pm    Post subject: Portable Fiber Laser Cleans Ancient Tomb Reply with quote

I found this article rather fascinating. The author describes how German conservators are working with laser technology to clean the tomb of Neferhotep, a senior Egyptian scribe who served in the temple of the god Amun.


"The art of using the laser system is to adjust the power density, repetition rate and velocity of the beam across the surface so that dirt is removed without damaging the underlying paint and the subsurface."

The method allows the conservators to remove thin layers of dirt at a time.
They mention specifically that it works very well on the white area because of the fact that the reflective properties of the white surface are very different from those of the dirt.

"Although cleaning with a laser is still time-consuming, the researchers found it much faster than traditional methods in some circumstances. The ability to ablate very thin layers was also an advantage. However, compared with traditional chemical or mechanical methods, it is more expensive, and it was found to discolor some pigments in advance trials on test pieces in the laboratory."

I wonder if they will start using it in combination with the other techniques. If there are colors that do not suffer any effects from the laser treatments, then it may be a way to quickly clean areas of the surface and leave certain section to be treated with the chemical or mechanical methods.

The article can be found here:
http://www.photonics.com/content/spectra/2006/August/applications/83742.aspx
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Sesen
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile Its great to hear of advances or adaptions of technology in tools for archaeology. And something that is relatively non-invasive too, even if it could only be used for some colours.
The conservators need all the help they can get.
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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Joined: 09 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, I'm really bad at working out date etc. So, I was just wondering if this is the Neferhotep buried at Theban Tomb 6, or a different one. Question
Sorry that it's such a trivial question. Smile
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I did a quick search on my website:
http://euler.slu.edu/Dept/Faculty/bart/egyptianhtml/tombs/ThebanTombs.htm

TT6 belongs to a worker from Deir el Medina ("Foremen in the place of Truth")

Judging from the title it may be TT49:
"Neferhotep, Chief scribe of Amun, Probably temp. Aye
Parents: Neby (Servant of Amun) and Iuy; Wife: Merytre.
Merytre is shown in a garden receiving rewards from the Queen in the royal harem."

Or just maybe:
"TT257. Neferhotep, Scribe, Counter of grain of Amun, Temp. Tuthmosis III - Amenhotep III;
Tomb taken over later by Mahu, Deputy in the Ramesseum, Temp. Rameses II"

I think TT49 is slightly more likely based on the title.
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Daughter_Of_SETI
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2006 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
I think TT49 is slightly more likely based on the title.

Thanks, Anneke. Very Happy
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