Conservation of pithoi

In the context of the work of the Knossos Scientific Committee during the 3rd CSF and NSRF projects, all the pithoi of Knossos were recorded and photographed for the first time.

Then the pithoi to be conserved were chosen on the basis of their state of preservation, giving priority to those preserving a larger surface of ancient fabric or at risk of immediate disintegration.

In collaboration with other Greek conservation centres, materials and methods were laboratory-tested. Those selected were the most compatible with the ancient ceramic material and its outdoor exposure.

The work involved taking the selected pithos apart, first removing any wires around it and metal staples. The pithos was then cleaned by mechanical means, removing the cement mortar, gypsum, salt deposits, soil and organic deposits from the surface and the edges of the sherds. This was followed by consolidation where necessary, desalination, joining, restoration with new material and, lastly, aesthetic restoration

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