Conservation of clay and lime plaster

The conservation of the Minoan plaster was carried out on the clay and lime plaster in various parts of the Palace and the archaeological site of Knossos.

Minoan walls were coated with clay and lime plaster in order to create a suitable surface for fresco decoration. The main causes of damage to the clay and lime plaster are its frequent exposure in an unroofed area with high levels of humidity, together with the use of cement mortar in previous restoration interventions.

The composition of the clay and lime plaster was analysed in order to select the appropriate conservation materials and methods. The materials for the consolidation of the ancient plaster were selected through the preparation of test samples followed by applications in situ.

The work involved the removal of earlier interventions and the consolidation and repair of crumbling and detached sections. This was followed by the consolidation and binding of the ancient plaster all around the edge, and mortar injections to fill the gaps. The detached fragments were replaced and the surface was cleaned by mechanical and chemical means.

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