Publication details

Archaeological leather - assesment of degradation by ATR-FTIR and MHT



Year of publication 2018
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Premosťovanie disciplín a druhov dedičstva - efektívna ochrana dedičstva v 21. storočí. Zborník príspevkov z konferencie CSTI 2018 Conservation Science, Technology and Industry. Bratislava 7. – 9. marec 2018.
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Science

Keywords archaeological leather; ATR-FTIR; MHT
Description Many remains of ancient clothing, footwear and utensils made from leather have been found in archaeological sites throughout the world. The appropriate conservation treatment for these artefacts, in order to protect their integrity and scientific value, requires the understanding of leather’ structure as well as it’s deterioration under burial medium, wet or dry conditions. The chemical deterioration of leather is mainly caused by acid hydrolysis and oxidation due to environmental factors. Infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) technique is widely used for historical collagen based materials investigation, enabling the detection of conformational changes of collagen on deterioration, as well as the identification of materials added during the manufacturing process or formed on ageing. Determination of hydrothermal stability is often used for evaluation of decay collagen substrate The present contribution reports the preliminary results obtained through Attenuated Total Reflection-Infrared Spectroscopy (ATR-FTIR) and Micro Hot Table (MHT) method applied on several archaeological leather samples. The archaeological leathers spectra were discussed by comparison with those of pure collagen and vegetable tannin powders, as well as hydrolysable and condensed tanned leathers. The results showed that oxidation and hydrolysis are not the main reason for the decay of archaeological leather. Shrinkage temperatures were compared with results for new vegetable tanned leathers.
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