The Tablet Conservation Lab

The Jonathan and Jeanette Rosen Tablet Conservation Lab includes the following equipment:   

  • The Ammonium Chloride Mister, with vent hood and fan, (above counter) is used for coating cuneiform tablets with a fine white layer of ammonium chloride prior to final photography.

    A Fisher Scientific Isotemp® Programmable Muffle Furnace 650 Series (below counter) is used for baking the tablets prior to soaking. Depending on the size of the tablets up to 40 may be baked at one time over a five day cycle.

  • Work space and materials for mending tablets is also available.

  • Twin sinks are available for soaking tablets after baking to remove encrustations and soluble minerals from the surface and interior of the tablets. Fresh warm water continually circulates around and over the tablets from tubes positioned at the bottom of the sinks. Soaking takes from one to four weeks.

  • Close up of one of the sinks showing the tubes feeding warm water to the bottom of the sink, the mesh covered frames that allow the water to circulate freely, and the plastic containers used to hold the tablets while soaking.

  • For photography of tablets there is a Nikon Coolpix 8700 Digital Camera, a camera stand, and multiple lights. The camera has several memory cards.

  • For processing images and cataloguing the tablets the lab has several computers:

    1. Dell Optiplex GX620

    2. Dell Opitplex 760

    3. IMac 24


  • The tablets in the main collection are kept in metal cabinets commonly used for map storage in the library/reference part of the faciltiy.