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New Leaflet: The Restoration Of A Human Skeleton - As A Scientific Specimen

October 07, 2014

Niccolo Caldararo, (Dept of Anthropology SFSU); Claire Antonetti (Claire Antonetti Fine Arts  Conservation, Oakland, CA) and Jena Hirschbein (Buffalo State College Art Conservation Graduate Program)

This paper describes the examination and restoration treatment of a male human skeleton that had long been used as a teaching specimen. The skeleton fell resulting in the brittle bone material shattering and bone fragment loss. The skeleton had been previously wired together, had steel inserts for rotation, as well as rods to facilitate weight balance. The treatment required reassembly and extensive repairs to broken bones due to a fall the skeleton suffered in the teaching context. Bones were first disassembled and catalogued, cleaned and then stabilized using adhesives. Damage to wire or metal-segments was addressed, weak areas of bone were reinforced with metal pins (stainless steel) and lost fragments from impact were replaced and secured with adhesive (using an isolating layer of dilute B72, consolidation and filling with PVA emulsion and Polyfilla as a polymer paste. A review of earlier work in the restoration of vertebrate skeletons is provided.  [more]

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