Piecing together a bigger piece

Object of the Month: 03/2018

What is it?:

Ceramic piece
Ceramic pieceCourtesy SMM
Reconstructed ceramic vessel


Oneota people

Age: ca. 1000-1400 C
Where was it collected:

Found at the Silvernale site near Red Wing, Minnesota, ca. 1970

Accession #: A2017:1:684:1

Pre reconstruction
Pre reconstructionCourtesy SMM
What you see is all that archaeologists found of this vessel. The 20-some pieces were discovered together but scattered about.

In the lab, conservators carefully fit the sherds together to determine where they should go. A plan is set for the order Mid reconstruction
Mid reconstructionCourtesy SMM
in which to adhere them together. Small pieces of tape are numbered and placed on the ceramics to keep track of which joins are made. They are connected using the adhesive Paraloid B-72 in acetone. It is weaker than the ceramic, so, if the reconstructed ceramic should break, it Final piece
Final pieceCourtesy SMM
will break along the adhesive lines.