ceramic pots - which are between 3,000 and 5,000 years old - were
discovered near Stonehenge, Avebury and other historically significant
sites in Wiltshire. The conservation work is ground-breaking and
it is the first time such techniques have been used in the UK.
carried out by the Victorians and later generations used an unusual
range of materials, including cement, terracotta plant pots and
previous repairs had started to fail and urgent conservation work
was needed to safeguard the pots' future.
105 vessels included in the conservation project form part of the
Bronze Age ceramics collections at Salisbury and South Wiltshire
Museum and Wiltshire Heritage Museum, Devizes.
museums have collections which have been designated as being of
national importance by the Museums, Archives and Libraries Council.
of the pots were discovered by three of the most celebrated pioneers
of archaeology - Sir Richard Colt Hoare, owner of the Stourhead
estate in Wiltshire, his colleague, William Cunnington, and
General Augustus Henry Lane-Fox Pitt-Rivers, one of the leading
archaeologists and anthropologists of the Victorian age.
Robinson, curator of Wiltshire Heritage Museum, said: "This
has been a model instance of co-operation between Wiltshire County
Council and the two independent museums.
project also meets the expectations of museum visitors today - that
whatever is displayed will be visually appealing and strictly accurate."
Saunders, director of Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum, said:
"This has been a remarkable project made possible through the
collaboration of the Wiltshire County Council conservation centre
and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
is wonderful to see these nationally important Bronze Age vessels
restored once again to a condition worthy of public display."
conservators and a subcontractor worked on the project full-time.
A large pot with cement to remove could take up to 230 hours to
processes used included removing cement, rebuilding the pots with
modern, sympathetic materials and providing specialist packing for
The project cost a total of just under £200,000, with
the Heritage Lottery Fund providing nearly £150,000.
Other funding came from Wiltshire County Council, the two
museums involved, the L J Skaggs and Mary C Skaggs Foundation,
USA, the South West Museums Council and the American School