Desalination parameters for Harappan ceramics

Katherine A. Holbrow, Emily Kaplan and Harriet F. Beaubien


In a pilot study to determine what soluble salt content would produce minimal damage in porous, low-fired archaeological ceramics, terracotta bangle bracelet fragments excavated at the Indus Civilization site of Harappa, Pakistan, were desalinated to different controlled salt levels and subjected to various tests. Data from these tests were used to design a long-term study at the site. Preliminary results from the pilot study show that although some soluble salt remains after desalination treatment and in accelerated aging tests, no efflorescence or damage was evident in variously desalinated samples.

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1995 | St. Paul | Volume 3