Four SEAHA students are joining the team of ‘Student Engagers’ at UCL Museums. Student Engagers are postgraduate research students at UCL who aim to broaden public engagement with research by sharing their knowledge and making connections between their own research and the collections at UCL.
Alexandra Bridarolli, Mark Kearney, Anna Pokorska and Cerys Jones will be at the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, Grant Museum of Zoology, & UCL Museum of Art talking to visitors and encouraging them to think about the collections in novel and varied ways.
At the Petrie Museum, Alexandra talks about why she thinks public engagement is important:
Follow the student engagers on twitter @ResearchEngager, check our their Researchers in Museums blog here, or go and find them in one of the UCL Museums!
SEAHA student Hayley Simon alongside her supervisors and researchers from SEAHA partner Diamond Light Source have published research on synchrotron techniques to study iron cannonballs from the Mary Rose in Angewandte Chemie.
The work combines multiple X-ray based methods to probe the inner workings of iron artefacts following 35 years of conservation treatments. The study focuses on looking at the chlorine content of the cannonballs; mapping how the element is distributed across the objects and identifying the species of chlorine present. This has given an unprecedented insight into the impact of conservation on a molecular scale, crucial information that will help protect this cultural heritage for many decades to come.
The work has also received significant media coverage and was featured on BBC News, and the Smithsonian Magazine.
Read the article here.
Hayley Simon is a SEAHA PhD student based at UCL Institute of Archaeology who researches iron corrosion in cannonballs from the Mary Rose. She is supported by partners the Mary Rose Trust, Diamond Light Source, & Eura Conservation Ltd.
SEAHA student Laura Arcidiacono has co-authored a paper ‘Egyptian grave-goods of Kha and Merit studied by neutron and gamma techniques‘ in journal Angewandte Chemie.
The intact burial assemblage of Kha and Merit was discovered in 1906 in Egypt when the Italian Archaeological Mission (MAI) located the underground tomb; its entrance was hidden by a landslide in the necropolis of Deir el-Medina. The tomb represents the richest (more than 500 objects) and most complete non-royal burial assemblage dated back to the New Kingdom (1425-1353 BC). It includes sealed alabasters and pottery, metallic vassels, wooden boxes and chests, food and oils containers, powders and precious perfumes. This was the tomb of the “Work director” Kha and his wife Merit.
Artifacts from these grave goods preserved at the Mueseo Egizio in Turin were studied by Laura and an international team of researchers through a combination of non-destructive and non-invasive neutron and gamma techniques, such as: neutron imaging, neutron diffraction and prompt gamma activation analysis. The results showed unprecedented morphological reconstructions of the inner parts of two alabaster and metallic vases, their isotopic and phase composition, providing new information about unknown content of the vases and their functions.
Read the article here.
Laura Arcidiacono is a SEAHA student based at the UCL Institute of Archaeology. Her research partners are Universita’ di Roma Tor Vergata and Museo Storico della Fisica e Centro Studi e Ricerche “Enrico Fermi”. The research was supported by CNR, within the CNR-STFC Agreement 2014-2020 (N. 3420), concerning collaboration in scientific research at the ISIS Spallation Neutron Source, and by the ARKHA project.
Image: A photograph of the metallic situla (S.8228) and its neutron radiography. The alabaster vase is 11 cm in height and has a maximum diameter of 10 cm, while the metallic situla is 26 cm in height and has a maximum diameter of 16 cm of max. Used with permission of Laura Arcidiacono.