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Iron Age ceramic vessel

Vasija cerámica Pulse para ampliar
Protohistory and Colonisations Department

Vettonian culture (4th–2nd century BC)

Castro of Las Cogotas, Cardeñosa, Ávila

Inventory number: 35.540

Media and technique: Wheel-thrown clay. Oxidation firing. Painted, incised and grooved decoration


The vessel was brought to the Conservation Laboratory to inspect its earlier restoration before putting it on display. The lab technicians were also asked to assess three pottery fragments that might belong to the piece and reattach them if possible.

The vessel was unevenly shaped and fired and presented fragmentation and adhesions. A large chunk of the mouth was missing and had been filled with plaster. This structural fill did not properly fit the shape of the original, having excesses that exacerbated the piece’s natural deformities. The aesthetic reintegration had been done with spot colour, overly conspicuous on a piece with such irregular colouring and texture.


After a preliminary examination of the piece, lab technicians confirmed that two of the three fragments belonged to the vessel and identified their original location on the piece. In order to reattach them, it was necessary to make holes in the structural fill and partially detach it from the original piece. The reattachment of the new fragments gave us a more accurate estimate of the shape of the structural fill, providing new information about the height and diameter of the mouth.

After reattaching the fragments, we adapted the shape of the old structural fill, which was preserved in accordance with the premise of minimal intervention. All the fill areas that overlapped the original were removed, and the final step was a new aesthetic reintegration using a blending and texturising technique that visually softened the sharp colour contrasts between the different edges of the filled areas.

Pulse para ampliar Initial condition of the vessel with its previous restoration
Pulse para ampliar Fragments attributed to the vessel. The first and second belong to the piece, but not the third
Pulse para ampliar Removal of fills that covered up the original
Pulse para ampliar Removal of structural fill to insert the second fragment
Pulse para ampliar First fragment inserted in its original location
Pulse para ampliar Final condition, frontal view
Pulse para ampliar Final condition, high-angle view

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