Under Construction August 2011

1. BACKGROUND

Stone artifacts are most commonly seen in Alaskan collections as tools, projectile points, oil lamps, fishing gear, and argillite carvings.

2. POSSIBLE CAUSES

The most common white stuff we have seen on Alaskan stone artifacts is salts from burial or contact with seawater, fatty materials from contact with oils, or adhesive residues from old repairs or attempts to stick down an artifact during exhibition. Stone oil lamps were common in Alaska and oil from marine mammals was typically the fuel.  This may result in fatty bloom from those oils.  Many of these lamps also come from an archaeological context, or even beach context, suggesting possible salt efflorescence.

3. REFERENCES

Pearson, C. (1987) “Deterioration of Ceramic, Glass and Stone” Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects.  Butterworths.  London.

4. EXAMPLES IN ALASKA

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