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Wednesday, May 31 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
061. (Objects) Corn and Tobacco Residue: Development of Protocol for Sampling and Analysis

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Residues found on an archaeological object may contain crucial clues to the object’s use in antiquity. However, thorough residue analysis is often difficult, due to confounding contamination or a lack of access to instrumentation and analytical protocols. Therefore, residue analysis often falls outside the scope of conservation treatments, so the information contained therein may be lost during cleaning. Residues may also hinder the application of protective coatings, so their detection and analysis is a key step towards a successful treatment. Using documented pottery collections from the Arizona State Museum, we are developing a best practices methodology for chemical instrumental analysis to characterize residues left by corn and tobacco, using minimal sampling or non-destructive techniques. In addition, we are focusing on widely available techniques, including Gas Chromatography - Mass Spectrometry, to increase the probability that our protocols will be easy to apply. By making residue analysis more straightforward, we hope to encourage conservators to incorporate analysis into routine treatments. This analysis will simultaneously allow conservators to make more informed decisions about treating an object while adding to its archaeological record.


Wendy Lindsey

Graduate Student, University of Arizona
Wendy Lindsey is currently a graduate student at the University of Arizona, where she is pursuing a PhD in analytical chemistry. After completing her undergraduate studies in chemistry at Scripps College, she worked as a consultant for the Getty Conservation Institute before departing... Read More →
avatar for Dr. Nancy Odegaard

Dr. Nancy Odegaard

Conservator, Patronato San Xavier
Nancy is the Conservator Emerita at the Arizona State Museum on the campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson where she is also a Professor Emerita of Anthropology. Since 1983, she led the effort to preserve the collections of the museum through loans, exhibits, excavations, research... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 3:30pm - 4:00pm CDT
Riverside West Exhibit Hall Exhibit Level, East Tower
  9. Poster, Objects