ARCENCPostings

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The power of social media | In the Artifact Lab

https://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/2018/09/29/the-power-of-social-media/
On 09/29/2018 11:07 AM, mollygleeson wrote:
> The power of social media
>
> By Jessica Byler
>
> The power of social media, which brings together so many people with diverse interests and
> knowledge, has helped in a conservation treatment! In a previous post
> <https://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/2018/07/12/beaded-necklaces-complex-restringing/>, the
> restringing of a faience Egyptian broad collar (31-27-303
> <https://www.penn.museum/collections/object/121239>) was discussed. A couple of eagle-eyed readers
> pointed out that the falcon head terminals should face outwards, whereas our terminals are looking
> at each other. The falcons have been facing inwards for as long as we have had the piece, so what
> was going on?
>
> <http://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/files/2018/09/collarAT1.jpg>
>
> 31-27-303, after the first restringing
>
> Almost immediately, Egyptian Section curator Jen Wegner got to work, digging in the Archives and
> looking at other collars, including beaded and gold collars as well as painted ones. In all of
> them, the falcons faced out, not in. Our terminals were on backwards!
>
> <http://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/files/2018/09/examples-of-collars.jpg>
>
> King Tut's mask (left), Metropolitan Museum of Art broad collar, 26.8.102 (center), Old Kingdom
> Mereruka relief image (right)
>
> We have Alan Rowe's field notes from the excavation in 1930 (Coxe
> <https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/eckley-brinton-coxe-jr/> Expedition to Meydum) which
> shows how this happened. When the collar was excavated, the falcon head terminals were separate
> from, but in the same context as, the hundreds of barrel beads. The terminals and beads were drawn
> separately in the notes but were reconstructed by the time they were photographed.
>
> <http://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/files/2018/09/collar-archives.jpg>
>
> Rowe's field register (left) and a field photo (right)
>
> Since 1930, the collar has been on display, gone out on loan, and published. No one had noticed
> (or had gone so far to comment on) the incorrect placement of the falcon head terminals. Because
> the collar was restrung for purely conservation reasons, the placement of each of the beads had
> been retained. Now that it has been pointed out, it was decided to switch the terminals to face
> outwards.
>
> Fortunately, I was able to switch the terminals without fully restringing the collar. First, the
> knots were unpicked from each side. Then, the thread was unstrung so that the top and bottom rows
> could be removed, which mostly released the terminals. Finally, two of the strings had to be cut.
> Once the terminals were removed, they could be swapped, and the collar restrung.
>
> The collar has a few more knots than before, but for the first time the falcon-headed terminals
> are facing the right way.
>
> <http://www.penn.museum/sites/artifactlab/files/2018/09/collarAT2.jpg>
>
> Broad collar after second restringing
>
> Thanks again to our attentive audience! A very special shout-out to our Egyptological colleagues,
> Tom Hardwick and Peter Lacovara, who pointed this out in the first place. Who knows, maybe someone
> reading this right now will contribute to a future mystery!
>


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