Here is a little-known function of museums: the preservation of artifacts from the past.
But how can we preserve sensitive materials such as wood or leather for future generations?
This question is essential!
In order to make this mission a success, the Gallo-Roman Museum of Ath has built an organic storage space.
This room is air-conditioned, which means that the relative humidity and temperature are kept as constant as possible. This helps to slow down the natural breakdown of wood and leather fibres.
You can see wooden planks from the boats found during the Pommeroeul excavations in the racks to the far left of the reserve.
They were restored like the barge and the pirogue on display, but were not reassembled.
Various soles and leather remnants are visible in the center of the display case. Many elements of Gallo-Roman shoes have been found in Pommeroeul, a panel can be seen in the display case on the second floor of the museum.
And what about the other reserves?
In addition to this air-conditioned space, the museum contains archaeological reserves that allow the preservation of other types of remains. You will find objects in ceramic, stone, metal, glass, …
Every object is inventoried there. The aim is to have a complete database with inventory number, dimensions, description, photos, health status, dating, bibliographic references, etc.
This inventory makes it possible, for example, to trace the object when it leaves the reserves for loan on the occasion of a temporary exhibition in another museum.