Some texts are currently available in German only. We apologize for any inconvenience.
The Museum of Pre- and Early History possesses a holding of 340,000 archaeological objects from Europe, the Mediterranean, Near and Central Asia and the Far East from the Stone Age until modern times. The extremely variable history of the collection has, up to the present day, an effect on undertakings in conservation. Objects damaged by war or fire after the bombardment of Berlin, for example, present a particular problem. The main focus of activity is on the conservation of the collection holdings of predominantly non-organic groups of material such as iron, bronze, ceramic and glass, some of which are on exhibition and some in storage. The high frequency of loans of especially fragile archaeological objects demands the production of moldings.
As a result of the museum's connection with the Berlin Monument Authority (Landesdenkmalamt), the museum also carries out conservation work on recently discovered objects. The museum workshops own x-ray equipment is used to examine materials in finds consisting of metal as well as for objects from other collections of the National Museums in Berlin, for instance in establishing their material authenticity. This equipment is put to particularly useful effect with large finds consisting of iron. In recent years, an additional central focus of activities lay in the accomplishment of projects such as 'Inlay work from the Merovingian Period' and numerous investigations into the production of objects made of copper alloys and precious metals. Further responsibilities of the conservators include the climatic and restorative care of objects in the storerooms, permanent exhibition, and temporary exhibitions, as well as those that are made available for loan by the museum to other institutions. They are also responsible for the training of conservation interns.