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Wow, this is pretty neat. - Cemetery art and photography
Wow, this is pretty neat.
The archaeologist in me says Nooooo... But the historian in me, says wow, really cool preservation.

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singeaddams From: singeaddams Date: April 2nd, 2018 01:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love it. If they can be cleaned then they should be.
donnad From: donnad Date: April 2nd, 2018 02:17 pm (UTC) (Link)
I agree, but sometimes cleaning an historical object like this can reveal damage and exposing it to the air can make it worse. The air we breathe today has far more toxins and pollution in it than the air had when the stones were originally placed. The lichens, moss, and molds coating the stones can protect them from the 21st century pollution. They look great, but it may cause them to decay faster than they would otherwise. That's the archaeologist in me.

They say you should never keep silver polished, but rather polish it only when you plan to actually use it, because everytime you polish it and remove tarnish you remove a layer (however thin) of the actual silver. The same goes for stone, the more you clean and polish the more stone is removed.

The historian in me says wow! cool to be able to see and read the historical info and detail on the stones. There are some beautiful stones there, and a significant amount of work put into cleaning them.

So I am totally conflicted here.
singeaddams From: singeaddams Date: April 2nd, 2018 03:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
That's definitely a quandary. But they probably, and sadly, will never be cleaned again so there won't be too much damage.
low_delta From: low_delta Date: April 3rd, 2018 04:19 pm (UTC) (Link)
If they still look this good after 100 years, and they're only cleaned every 100 years, I think they will be fine. In a thousand years, maybe there would be a difference. But stones that weren't cleaned wouldn't be readable anyway.

At this point in history, our best archaeological tool for the future is the photograph.
4 comments or Leave a comment