Glass Reflections
Cambridge 7th to 9th September

Presenting Author:
Maricruz Medina

article posted 11 Mar 2015


María Cruz Medina graduated in History from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 2005 and in 2009 in Conservation and Restoration of Archaeological Heritage from the ESCRBC in Madrid. She has worked in several archaeological excavations in Egypt and Spain, both as an archaeologist and a conservator. Currently, she is completing her PhD studies, while working as conservator and Quality Manager in the Service of Conservation and Analysis of Archaeological Heritage from the Universidad Autónoma Madrid (SECYR-UAM).

Conservation and restoration of archaeological glass:
possibilities of LASER technology

María Cruz Medina*, Inmaculada Donate*,
Joaquín Barrio*, Ana Isabel Pardo**

The purpose of this paper is to present our experience restoring archaeological glass objects from the Iberian peninsula dated in the Roman period. Their state of conservation was very poor and the structure of the glass very fragile, due to the devitrification processes. This weakness required a cleaning instrument capable of removing the deposits, without damaging the glass or scratching its surface.

The traditional mechanical techniques being too risky to treat the worst conserved glasses, we tested the cleaning effects of two Nd:YAG laser devices (wavelength:1064nm): Short Free Running and Long Q-Switched, applying different fluences to achieve a good working methodology. Visually the results were very positive especially working with LQS-regime, and the SEM-EDX analyses verified the effectiveness of the cleaning procedure and the absence of scratches or any kinds of marks after the laser treatment.


*Servicio de Conservación, Restauración y Estudios Científicos del Patrimonio Arqueológico, Universidad Autónoma Madrid.

**Departamento de Prehistoria y Arqueología. Universidad Autónoma Madrid.