|Removing a sample of resin from a chest ornament, Marquesas (1886.1.1269)|
Andrew Charlton from the Food and Environment Research Agency (FERA) also came to the museum last week. Andrew specialises in the effect of pesticides on wildlife, and the purpose of the visit was to work out a method of taking surface swabs from objects so that he can test them for pesticides residues. We know that objects in the Pitt Rivers, as in all other museums, were routinely sprayed with pesticides, including arsenic, mercury and more recently developed chemicals such as DDT, to prevent insect attack. We are interested in finding out if there are residues of these chemicals on the surface of museum objects. The Cook-voyage collections have been in Oxford since the 1780s so we'd expect a wide range of pesticides to have been used on them.
|Jeremy with Kloe Rumney, conservation intern from Cardiff University, taking samples from the surface of a Tongan mat (1886.1.1175)|