Restoration of a spectacular Tartessian pottery piece
From the excavations at El Carambolo in 2002-2005.
To mark the exhibition commemorating 50 years since the discovery of the El Carambolo treasure, the museum faced the interesting challenge of restoring the piece currently on display in this section.
The first steps in the restoration process consisted of cleaning and strengthening the fragments of the piece, which was incomplete. This initial stage was followed by a detailed case study to determine the shape of the object and the surface decoration.
As a result of this preliminary work, we know that the remains are typical of Tartessian Late Bronze Age pottery: namely, the basket (or coil) technique, which consists of an object formed by two truncated cones joined at the narrowest end. However, the new example had a distinctive feature: the significant length of its central cylindrical body and, as a result, its slimness and height. In fact, it is rare for this type of technique to reach such a height; it tends not to exceed 25-30 cm.
Once the case for volumetric reconstruction and decoration was made on paper, the piece began to be re-assembled. To do this, the existing lacunae were covered with a reversible material that did not affect the physical and chemical integrity of the original fragments. This provided an overall picture of the object's shape, while guaranteeing its stability and offered more opportunities to exhibit it.
The decorative patterns in the reconstituted areas were similarly restored so that the public would be able to appreciate them.
The end result will be exhibited in the near future in the museum's prehistory rooms.
The Venus of Itálica
Replacement of the anchoring system
The system anchoring the sculpture to the base was replaced with a different one which would allow the piece to be moved and which is more in line with current international conservation and restoration criteria for cultural artefacts.
The improvement became possible when the sculpture formed part of "The Recovery of Classical Antiquity in Andalusia", a temporary exhibition organised by the Focus-Abengoa Foundation at the Hospital de los Venerables in Seville between November 2008 and February 2009.
The public can continue to enjoy the results of the intervention in Room XVII at the museum.
For more information on the piece and the intervention, click here (pdf in new window, 589 kb)