Kite, M. & R. Thomson. 2006. Conservation of leather and related materials. – Amsterdam, Elsevier


  • A.J. Veldmeijer


An archaeologist not only excavates. After the recovery of artefacts the material needs to be studied. This is often done by archaeologists who have specialised in certain topics or artefact groups. The responsibility of an archaeologist does not stop with careful and conscientious digging, but extends to the material’s well being afterwards. They are the ones that have disrupted them from the environment the objects survived in all this time. Trying to maintain the circumstances of its depositional environment (or enhance these) is often not possible due to all kinds of factors and thus, ideally, the conservators are brought in (often however, they have already been called in, because their expertise is needed if delicate and fragile objects need to be recovered). But conserving wall plaster for instance is, in some respects, something entirely different than leather. Fortunately, for the latter there is now an up to date, exhaustive, excellent handbook available. Do not, however, think that with this book in hand, everyone can conserve leather, as leather is a complicated product and the expertise needed is extremely specialistic. Furthermore, often special and large equipment is needed, which usually is not at hand in the field. But nevertheless ‘Conservation of leather and related materials’ serves the archaeologist well as a basis of understanding leather, its deterioration and conservation. Read more...

Conservation of leather and related materials