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Behind the Scenes in Conservation: Nabataean Pottery

by Conservation


objects conservation , CAMConservation , ceramics conservation , archaeological conservation

In the objects conservation lab this week: We have a 2nd C CE fragmented piece of Nabataean pottery. This piece would have been part of a shallow bowl with decorative palm leaves covering the surface. These ten fragments, which together create about a third of the original bowl, have a few small losses in the center. These central losses, though small, are distracting and make it difficult to appreciate the palm leaf design. To create a more cohesive appearance, we decided to fill in the small losses and match them to the surrounding clay body. With the holes from the losses eliminated, the palm leaf design should be easier to focus on. Catch this object on view later this year when our Nabatean collections return to the galleries.

Fragment of Bowl with Palm Leaf Design, 2nd C CE, Temple of Khirbet et-Tannur Jordan, wheel-made earthenware with painted decoration over slip, Museum Purchase, 1939.245