Selecting successful conservation strategies at the Mary Rose Trust using the X-MET8000 handheld XRF analyser
26 October 2016

The X-MET8000 Optimum handheld X-ray fluorescence analyser is used regularly by the Mary Rose Trust’s conservation team, responsible for conserving and displaying the Mary Rose hull and her artefacts for current and future generations.

The Mary Rose Trust’s conservation department uses a variety of techniques to analyse and characterise the ship’s artefacts. One such technique is handheld X-ray fluorescence (HHXRF). HHXRF is a non-destructive technique, so is ideal for the testing of items of historical value. Having the analyser on-site also removes the need to source external support and helps to secure the future of the Mary Rose Trust’s unique collection. Results from the X-MET8000 Optimum are used by the team in their decision process to select the most appropriate conservation strategies, as well as to catalogue objects recovered along with the Mary Rose ship.

Dr Eleanor Schofield, Head of Conservation and Collections Care at the Mary Rose Trust said “The X-MET allows us to obtain fast and reliable elemental data in-situ e.g. in large stores and display cases. The only way to perform these tests previously would have been to take the entire object to a testing facility. With very large objects this was very difficult and costly, and sometimes not possible. Alternatively, samples would be taken, which is not always feasible with precious artefacts.”

For further details about how the X-MET8000 Optimum is used at the Mary Rose Trust, read a recently published case study: www.oxford-instruments.com/archaeometry

The Mary Rose’s hull is now displayed in the stunning Mary Rose Museum, in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Portsmouth, UK, alongside a unique collection of artefacts. For more information visit: www.maryrose.org