British Museum Technical
Research Bulletin
Volume 5

All articles are anonymously peer-reviewed by specialists outside the British Museum

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This volume presents 10 articles that reflect the chronological depth and geographical breadth of the British Museum collection. From prehistoric Switzerland to twentieth century Oman and from the banks of the Thames to the banks of the Nile, each sheds light on the material aspects of objects as part of a wider study of their history of production, use or collection.

A common theme across many of the studies is the value of examining and re-examining archaeological objects and assemblages, particularly as new techniques become available for their analysis and as the corpus of comparable examples grows, allowing this material to be placed more firmly in context and new connections to be made.

Furthermore, the articles demonstrate the value of interdisciplinary collaboration in the study of the Museum’s collection. Sometimes aspects of an object are interpretable only in the light of information from other fields, for example the complex iconography of seventeenth century Cretan painting is clarified when considered in the perspective of the longstanding co-existence of Orthodox and Catholic traditions and communities in this Venetian colony. Equally, the application of the term ‘authenticity’ to a Chinese bronze vessel can take on a new meaning when the object is seen in the context of a period in which older rituals and traditions were revived, leading also to the desire to reproduce the material culture of that epoch.

Salwa necklace with a red bicycle reflector pendant, Northern Oman, 1950s.



 Evidence for shield construction from the early Anglo-Saxon cemetery site of Tranmer House, Bromeswell, SuffolkHayley Bullock, Alexandra Baldwin, Jamie Hood, Chris Fern, Caroline Cartwright, Janet Lang and Quanyu Wang

 Investigating technological and environmental evidence from plant remains and molluscs in cuneiform tabletsCaroline Cartwright and Jon Taylor

 Portrait mummies from Roman Egypt: ongoing collaborative research on wood identificationCaroline Cartwright, Lin Rosa Spaabæk and Marie Svoboda

 The Noli me Tangere: study and conservation of a Cretan iconLynne Harrison, Janet Ambers, Rebecca Stacey, Caroline Cartwright and Angeliki Lymberopoulou

 Assessing the potential of historic archaeological collections: a pilot study of the British Museum’s Swiss lake dwelling textiles Catherine Higgitt, Susanna Harris, Caroline Cartwright and Pippa Cruickshank

 Defence and decoration: new findings on a late fourteenth-century ‘kettle-hat’ helmet found in LondonJamie Hood, Joanne Dyer, Janet Lang and Janet Ambers

 Beauty and belief: the endangered tradition of Omani silver jewellery Aude Mongiatti, Fahmida Suleman and Nigel Meeks

 Grimes Graves revisited: a new light on chalk ‘lamps’Satoko Tanimoto, Rebecca Stacey, Gillian Varndell and Tracey Sweek

 The history and conservation of the papyrus of Tuy John Taylor, Bridget Leach and Helen Sharp

 A Chinese bronze gui vessel: genuine Western Zhou object or fake? Quanyu Wang, Sascha Priewe, Kwang-tzuu Chen and Susan La Niece