Wet Finds Conservation

Wet Finds Conservation

Amy Stewart

In November 2022, we secured funding from AIM Pilgrim Trust to carry out conservation work on our collection of wet finds. These finds had been stored in water for many years and were in a fairly poor condition, underneath the museum.


This project aimed to complete a collection management process on our wet finds collection. The wet finds assemblage from Oakbank Crannog comprise 600+ containers with a range of material and have been in storage for up to 40 years.

The finds had to be taken out from underneath the museum, which was an interesting task! They then had to be packed (very carefully!) into a van and transported to the AOC Archaeology premises in Edinburgh. AOC Archaeology first assessed the collection to establish the condition, stability for long-term storage, viability for future analytical studies, including a decision on which material to retain and which to discard of and to identify conservation needs for stabilizing the retained material.

This project will have many benefits for the future of the Crannog collection. Firstly, and most importantly, is that the finds can be seen by the public once they are put on display. Before now, they had never been seen by the public. Having the artefacts stabilized will allow for public display as well as potential future research which will help us to better understand our Crannog community from 2,500 years ago. The project also signifies the start of a larger conservation project. With our upcoming move to Dalerb, it is the perfect time to consider sending some of the collection away for conservation work that is needed. We will continue to improve our collection care to help preserve these artefacts so they can be studied and admired for years to come.

AOC Archaeology did a fantastic job, and we are eagerly awaiting the return of the finds!

We would also like to give a huge thank you to AIM for providing us with this grant in order to help us provide the best care to our wonderful collection of Iron Age artefacts.