IDentification for all: protecting nature and art
Come listen to researchers presenting their project and ask them your questions!
Wednesday 19th May 2021
The Oseberg Ship Burial: how to preserve a unique collection of wooden artefacts
Heritage science is a broad umbrella term covering the interdisciplinary domain of science studies of heritage. Through the identification of materials' components, many questions can be addressed. Here I present the case of the Viking Age objects belonging to the Oseberg treasure. The wooden items underwent a conservation treatment in the past (19th-20th centuries) after which they developed further preservation issues. Through the identification of materials (including alteration products), we defined the ongoing degradation processes and developed a preservation strategy including the creation of new nano-based materials.
Hugo de Boer
Eating orchids and illegal trade
In eastern Mediterranean countries orchids are collected from the wild for the production of salep, a beverage made of dried orchid tubers. This traditional use is widespread and increasing in popularity, and terrestrial orchids are wild harvested from Albania to Iran. Understanding what species are affected by this trade and where they are sourced from is a difficult challenge as traded tubers lack characteristics for morphology-based identification. In a series of ethnobotanical studies using molecular identification we shed light on this trade in CITES-listed species and its implications for conservation. Investigations focused on collectors, cross-border traders, market vendors, and salep drink and ice-cream retailers in Greece, Turkey, Iraq and Iran. Understanding the species diversity and provenance of salep orchid tubers enables elucidation of the chain of commercialization of endangered species back to the harvesters and their natural habitats, and allow for targeted efforts to protect or sustainably use wild populations of these orchids. Join us for an investigate venture into orchids local food in the Eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor.