Wessex Archaeology has added an X-ray facility to its in-house conservation service. The machine has been adopted from its previous owner – the Isle of Wight Museum Service. It is a ‘Faxitron’ self-contained X-ray unit.
The machine will be operated by WA conservator Lynn Wootten and it will be mainly used to investigate corroded metal finds to reveal the details of the objects. It can also be used to look at the structure of other materials and inside solid lumps such as soil blocks and marine concretions.
The first material to be analysed by Lynn is human bone from the important rural Romano-British cemeteries from Boscombe Down, Amesbury, part of a housing development (funded by Bloor Homes and Persimmon Homes), and currently being researched by osteo-archaeologists Jackie McKinley and Kirsten Dinwiddy. Here, X-rays are used to examine injuries and any physical signs of pathology.