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A study of Hellenistic gilding practice and manufacture of funerary wreaths

Asderaki-Tzoumerkioti, Eleni; Rehren, Thilo; (2002) A study of Hellenistic gilding practice and manufacture of funerary wreaths. IAMS- Institute for Archaeo-metallurgical Studies , 22 pp. 19-21. Green open access

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Abstract

A number of fragments from four Hellenistic wreaths were studied in order to better understand their manufacture and to identify suitable conservation treatment (Asderaki 2001). They were excavated during rescue work by the 13th Ephorate of Prehistorical and Classical Antiquities at the cemetery of ancient Demetrias in Magnesia, Central Greece. Three of the wreaths studied date to the early 3rd century BC, and one to the late 2nd century BC. Sampling was governed by the availability of fragments remaining from the conservation process, and analytical methods were chosen to provide as much insight as possible into the production and corrosion of these wreaths. In this paper, we concentrate on the gilding practices as well as manufacture techniques identified in the samples. The wreaths were made to a high standard of craftsmanship, using often high quality material: ample gold leaf, cinnabar pigment and a pure kaolinite gesso. This use of high quality raw materials matches the relative scarcity of the wreaths among the overall number of tombs excavated: only about one percent yielded remains of these ornamental items. However, despite their relative scarcity, they appear to have been made on a regular scale, using standardised methods and primary raw materials rather than merely recycling circulating metal and working on a semiskilled ad-hoc level of craftsmanship

Type: Article
Title: A study of Hellenistic gilding practice and manufacture of funerary wreaths
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/iams/newsletter
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Institute of Archaeology > Institute of Archaeology Gordon Square
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/93643
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