Effectiveness of Iron Artifact Treatments on Square Nails from the Montgomery Site, Kenosha County, Wisconsin

Author(s): Jessica M. Hebert; Madeline Baumeister

Year: 2019

Summary

This is an abstract from the "Technology in Terrestrial and Underwater Archaeology" session, at the 2019 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Corrosion, chloride ions, and salts all deteriorate archaeological iron, therefore it is important to swiftly remove them from artifacts upon recovery and prevent corrosion from recurring. This not only helps preserve archaeological iron, but removal of corrosion allows recognition of manufacturing features used to type and date artifacts. Also, corrosion treatment proves especially difficult when chloride ions are present. Unfortunately, archaeological iron treatment is complex and not fully understood. This interdisciplinary study combines geoscience and archaeology to improve current terrestrial, archaeological iron treatment by performing controlled experiments and investigating multiple treatment methods on square nails recovered from the nineteenth-century Montgomery Cabin Archaeological site in Somers, Wisconsin. Treatments performed in this study include electrolysis, desalination, chloride analysis, passivation, and drying. Effectiveness of treatments was measured with microscopic analysis and chemical testing.  Overall, this study was successful in treating archaeological iron and allowed the development of a guide useful for future treatment. 

Cite this Record

Effectiveness of Iron Artifact Treatments on Square Nails from the Montgomery Site, Kenosha County, Wisconsin. Jessica M. Hebert, Madeline Baumeister. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, St. Charles, MO. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449174)

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Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 507