Ceremonial Knife

Sicán, 1050-1000 AD
Bronze
1994.18.33

Treatment was carried-out to deter active corrosion. The bright fluffy green corrosion product caused by the presence of chlorides was mechanically removed using a surgical scalpel and working under magnification. Stable dark green corrosion preserves the pattern of a woven textile that was wrapped around the knife. The organic fibers cloth did not survive burial, so the corrosion pseudomorphs provide the only evidence of the cloth’s existence. The knife was also treated with a solution containing a corrosion inhibitor. Since the corrosion reaction is driven by moisture, the treated object is displayed in a sealed case with an enclosed dessicant to lower the relative humidity.