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Open Access Journal: British Museum Technical Research Bulletin

[First posted in AWOL 25 November 2013, updated 25 December 2014]

British Museum Technical Research Bulletin (BMTRB)
The Technical Research Bulletin publishes the results of collaborative work by the British Museum's curators, conservators and scientists covering a broad range of objects and materials from across the Museum’s collection.

Published once a year, each issue aims to encompass objects from different continents, historical periods and material types. The Bulletin is designed to appeal both to those with a general interest in the Museum’s collections and those with a specialist interest who wish to broaden their horizons.

Volume 1

Examines some of the different material aspects of objects in the Museum collection.
Read Volume 1 

Volume 2

Detailing the assessment, examination, treatment and analysis of objects from across the Museum’s collections and beyond.
Read Volume 2 

Volume 3

Shedding light on cultures from the ancient civilisations of the world.
Read Volume 3 

Volume 4

Papers on exploring the evidence for cultural transmission and trade to questions of object attribution and authenticity.
Read Volume 4 

Volume 5

Articles reflecting the chronological depth and geographical breadth of the British Museum collection.
Read Volume 5 

Volume 6

Articles highlighting the reasons behind technical examination and analysis.
Read Volume 6 

Volume 7

Showcasing research and conservation projects that advance our understanding of the history, technology and treatment of objects.
Read Volume 7 
The contents of the seventh volume of the British Museum Technical Research Bulletin reflects the diverse collections held by the British Museum. The investigations they describe include not only studies made directly on objects but also encompass research that aims better to understand the history, technology and treatment of objects.
A group of four Egyptian funerary portraits, a twentieth-century Bulgarian headdress, a Roman unguentarium and a highly decorated North American skin coat were all investigated during conservation treatment, taking the opportunity to analyse their component materials being taken while they were in the studio. These studies were not limited to the analysis of the materials and techniques, but also allowed practical, aesthetic and ethical issues associated with the collection and its preservation to be highlighted.
Contributions also examine the way in which existing conservation practice can be developed, adapted, tested and re-evaluated in response to the challenges of individual objects and improvements in materials and techniques. Other papers allow the significance, authenticity or history of objects to be reconsidered, as in the case of a Yongle Buddha that proved to have separate elements dating to different periods, or an ironwood chair from KwaZulu-Natal that held an important place in the history of nineteenth-century collecting and display of African crafts.
Although most of the articles focus on the study and treatment of objects from the British Museum collection, many result from a close collaboration with colleagues outside the Museum. International, interdisciplinary teams were behind both the reassessment and analysis of an Egyptian royal heart-scarab from the Second Intermediate Period and the extensive study of mining and metal processing practices in Mauryan India based on surveys, archaeological evidence and the analysis of vessels or waste.
Bulgarian kukeri mask, 1970-71. Eu1971,01.316


 The study and conservation of four ancient Egyptian funerary portraits: provenance, conservation history and structural treatmentNicola Newman, Lynne Harrison, David Thomas, Joanne Dyer and John Taylor
 Maker, material and method: reinstating an indigenously made chair from KwaZulu-Natal, South AfricaCatherine Elliott, Caroline Cartwright and Philip Kevin
 A Bulgarian kukeri mask: a diplomatic gift and the conservation of its polyurethane foam decorations Clare Ward, Nicole Rode, Marei Hacke and Judy Rudoe
 A traditional Chinese method for weakening silk for use in the conservation of silk paintings Vincent Daniels, Marei Hacke, Jin Xian Qiu and Valentina Marabini
 Analytical study of the first royal Egyptian heart-scarab, attributed to a Seventeenth Dynasty king, Sobekemsaf Gianluca Miniaci, Susan La Niece, Maria Filomena Guerra and Marei Hacke
 Scientific analysis of a Buddha attributed to the Yongle period of the Ming dynasty Quanyu Wang and Sascha Priewe
 Examination and experimentation: conservation of an archaeological glass unguentarium for display Julia Barton, Andrew Meek and Paul Roberts
 Simple sophistication: Mauryan silver production in north west India Paul Craddock, Caroline Cartwright, Kirsten Eckstein, Ian Freestone, Lalit Gurjar, Duncan Hook, Andrew Middleton and Lynn Willies
 An unusual decorated skin coat from Canada: aspects of conservation and identification Pippa Cruickshank, Caroline R. Cartwright, Jonathan C.H. King and Antony Simpson

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