An elephant task-Conservation of elephant remains from Revadim Quarry, Israel

Gail Gali Beiner*, Rivka Rabinovich

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Large bones present their own conservation problems. Three fossil elephant scapulae, received in different states of preservation, demonstrated the difficulties faced by a conservator on a low budget. Considerations included the state of preservation and the need to prepare the objects for research rather than display. Since the elephant finds were part of a taphonomic research project, preserving the bone surfaces was of supreme importance. Fill materials had to be light because of the need for researchers to handle the objects post-conservation. Following studies of other cases of gapfilling, both in modern and ancient bones, and considering the restrictions and particular requirements of the materials available, a system was devised consisting of Japanese tissue impregnated with Paraloid B-72 in acetone applied in layers over a scaffolding of rods, with a final layer of microcrystalline wax then being applied. The resultant fill was lightweight, reversible, relatively cheap, and unobtrusive to the researching scientists.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)53-64
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the Institute of Conservation
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank the participants of the Revadim Quarry excavation directed by Ofer Marder in collaboration with Ianir Mile-vski and Hamoudi Khalaily, from the Israel Antiquities Authority. The conservation was partially funded by the Israel Antiquities Authority and by the Irene-Levi Sala CARE Foundation.


  • Japanese tissue
  • Paraloid B-72
  • Revadim Quarry
  • conservation
  • elephant bone
  • fill materials
  • taphonomy


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