“Brick by brick”: Piecing together an 8th century BC façade from Iraq

Alison Whyte, Vanessa Muros, and Sarah Barack

Abstract

This poster addresses the history, analysis and conservation treatment of a collection of polychrome glazed bricks excavated in the first half of the 20th century, at Khorsabad, Iraq. The bricks originally formed part of a tableau that flanked the entrance of the 8th century BC Sin Temple. After excavation in 1933, they were packed in wooden crates and then shipped to the Oriental Institute Museum, University of Chicago. The bricks remained in storage until 1990, when the first of several crates was opened. Initial consolidation tests were performed at that time. Extensive conservation of the pieces began in 2001 with an analytical study to determine the compositions of the colored glazes. Treatment then focused on the stabilization of the bricks in preparation for their exhibition in the newly reinstalled Mesopotamian galleries.

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