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Elephant tusk (Bajo de la Campana)

Elephant Tusks

The archaeological intervention in the underwater site of the Bajo de la Campana, San Javier, Murcia, developed between the years 2007 to 2011 within the framework of a collaboration agreement signed between the Ministry of Culture of Spain, through the National Museum of Archeology Underwater of Cartagena, and the Institute of Nautical Archeology of Texas A & M University.

The successive campaigns of systematic excavation have documented and recovered the extraordinary cargo of a Phoenician wreck dated between the s. VII-VI B.D., partially known since the 1970s. Among the raw materials he carried, there is a magnificent set of 53 defenses and fragments of elephant defenses, some of them with inscriptions.

The procedures for its conservation are scarce, among the treatments documented have shown uneven results and others are in the development phase due to the few specimens of these characteristics, in addition to that its composition and structure, make their impregnation extremely difficult. This is the starting point of the research work on the conservation of ivory from underwater origin, to achieve a conservation procedures for the elephant defenses of the Bajo de la Campana, which adjusts the special characteristics of ivory, Their needs according to the degree of alteration they present and the current conservation criteria.

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Bajo de la Campana Site Defensas de elefante "in situ" en el yacimiento del Bajo de la Camapana