We offer a range of Archaeology and Conservation related commercial services.
Cardiff conservation services
We have an established conservation practice providing professional artefact conservation and collections care advice for clients throughout the UK and beyond.
Close co-operation with Cadw has meant that material from Guardianship and Rescue excavations in Wales has been conserved in the Cardiff laboratories for over 30 years. During the 1990's, with the increase in developer-funded work, Cardiff Conservation Services was formed to offer a commercial conservation service. The service is managed by Phil Parkes, an Accredited Member of Icon (Institute of Conservation). We provide conservation of objects ranging from archaeological small finds through to 20th century social history collections.
We have worked for a wide range of clients including; national organisations such as Cadw, Historic Scotland and English Heritage; local authorities; archaeological units; museums; churches, architects practices and private individuals.
Archaeological illustration and graphic design
Our archaeological illustrators can provide artefact illustrations, section, plans, maps, as well as typesetting services, pamphlet and book design, poster design and general graphic design services. Large format poster printing and scanning is also available.
Please see below for more information about the commercial services we offer.
Cardiff Archaeology and Conservation offer a full range of graphic and digital services.
Traditional artefact illustrations (pen and ink) and reconstructions (pencil, pen and ink and water colour) are provided by Ian Dennis BA, an archaeologist and professional graphic designer with over 25 years experience. Published illustration work is extensive and includes: Unearthed (Bailey et al, 2010), Building Memories (Whittle et al, 2007), Gathering Time (Whittle et al, 2011) and Anglo-Saxon Graves and Grave Goods (Bayliss & Hines, 2013).
In addition to traditional archaeological illustration we also offer a full range of services using Adobe Creative Suite CS6. This includes digitising maps, plans and sections, preparing all types of images for press or archive, poster design and typesetting services (this ranges from pamphlets, booklets and advertising literature to reports, books and monographs). Published work includes: The Lost City of the Legion booklet, The Caer Heritage Project booklet, History of Medicine Sources in Wales brochure, Working in Memphis(Nicholson, 2013).
We are especially experienced in prepress work for archaeological, historic and other academic and professional publishers such as Routledge, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Oxbow.
Our dedicated studio has a Hewlett-Packard Designjet 5500ps printer, allowing us to offer full colour large-format printing on Photogloss paper, film or heavy-weight paper and poster printing from A4 (210 x 297 mm or 8.27 x 11.69 inches) to A0 (841 x 1189 mm or 33.11 x 46.81 inches) and a Chroma Tx 40 Plus scanner allowing large format scanning (up to 1m wide and up to 5m in length and beyond). This scanner is ideal for archiving site plans and other unusually large records and documents. We are able to print onto film or to save as digital files.
Collections care - Condition surveys can allow targeting of funds on specific projects. Collections are assessed and a report produced detailing those which areas which require further work or active conservation.
We also carry out environmental surveys of buildings, visually assessing the building structure and location, taking measurements using thermohygrographs, dataloggers, lightmeters and UV meters and interviewing staff to determine existing policies and procedures for collections care. A report is provided on the suitability of a building for the storage or display of the collections and recommendations for improvements are made.
We have experience of working on a range of archaeological and historical objects including metals, wood, leather, glass, plaster and stone. Conservation can be carried out in-situ or in our fully equipped laboratories, as necessary. The conservation needs of each object are individually assessed and a treatment proposal drawn up in agreement with the client. Conservation treatments use materials and processes which as far as possible are reversible, and take into consideration the object's future context, use and conditions of display.
Cardiff Archaeology and Conservation is particularly well equipped to carry out the analysis of a wide range of archaeological materials.
In addition to our well appointed facilities for carrying out optical microscopy (including biological, petrographic and metallurgical studies), we have a CamScan Maxim 2040 variable pressure scanning electron microscope. Our SEM has a large chamber which is ideally suited for imaging and the analysis of non-conductive objects without coating. The CamScan is equipped with Oxford Instruments energy and wavelength dispersive X-ray spectrometers for chemical analysis.
We also have a PerkinElmer Spectrum One Fourier Transform Infra-red Spectrometer which we use for identifying a wide range of materials; the ATR sampling accessory is excellent for quick and easy preparation of specimens.
In addition, Cardiff Archaeology and Conservation owns a share in a new state-of-the-art PANalytical X-ray diffractometer with an accelerator detector which is housed at the National Museums and Galleries of Wales located across the street from our main laboratories.
We are available to carry out on-site lifting of objects as well as offering advice allowing formulation of a finds care and administration policy suitable to the needs of a particular site. This will help to ensure that the maximum amount of information from the finds and surrounding decay products is preserved.
Within archaeological conservation it is standard practice that all iron objects, and other metals with voluminous corrosion and burial products, should undergo x-radiography. This procedure is a quick and cost-effective method of assessing what lies beneath the corroded surface of objects. As well as the shape a large amount of information, such as manufacturing techniques, decoration and artefact technology, can be revealed.
We have a Faxitron 43855E x-ray system and can produce traditional film x-ray plates or digital images.