All the King's Horses: the Treatment of a Geometric Horse Pyxis

Geometric Pyxis
Greek, 760-730 BC
Ceramic
2012.006.001 A/B
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Andrew W. Mellon Assistant Conservator Kathryn Etre treated this pyxis (or lidded pot) from the Geometric Age in Greece for installation in the Greek and Roman Galleries at the Michael C Carlos Museum of Emory University. Among other condition issues, salts from the burial environment were causing loss of the decorated ceramic surface.  This presentation describes the treatment of the pyxis, including the role of diffusion to remove salts from the ceramic and the relationship between salinity and conductivity. This podcast is part of the Science of Art series that explores concepts taught in General Chemistry classes through case studies featuring objects and conservation projects from the Carlos Museum.