Research Topic

Degradation of Cultural Heritage Artifacts: From Archaeometry to Materials Development

About this Research Topic

The area of cultural heritage studies should represent not only an important research area for scientists in various areas of materials science but should provide the basis for choosing the appropriate restoration/conservation strategy. The degradation of cultural heritage materials represents one of the most important threats for their preservation for the future generation. The study of cultural heritage artifacts aims to identify, besides the nature of the materials, their state of degradation and the degradation products affecting them. The restoration/conservation procedure should comprise of a thorough study of the support material of the cultural heritage artifacts (either metal, ceramic, stone, paper, textile, etc.), followed by the development or the identification of the materials to be used for intervention. The proposal of synthetic or natural materials for application on cultural heritage preservation should be supported by studies covering their long-term effect on the artifacts.
Although many advances were recorded in this area in the last decades, the search for alternative procedures and materials for the restoration/conservation of cultural heritage artifacts is in full progress, including the potential subjects of this Research Topic:

• The identification of the structure and composition of cultural heritage artifacts using state-of-the-art methods;
• The correlation between the composition of the artifacts and their degradation pathways;
• The development of synthetic materials with application in cultural heritage restoration/conservation
• The proposal of natural materials for the preservation of the artifacts.

The Research Topic intends to bring together specialists with different backgrounds (materials science, natural products, analytic chemistry, restoration/conservation) in order to offer the readers a comprehensive image of recent developments and perspectives in the area of cultural heritage artifacts degradation pathways and new materials for preventing it.
As the current Research Topic aims to offer a holistic image of the cultural heritage restoration and conservation, contributions in the following areas are welcomed:

• Archaeometry studies covering the application of non- and micro-destructive analytical techniques on different types of artifacts (metal, ceramic and stone, paper, textile), with the aim of elucidating their structure and potential degradation pathways;
• Studies on the degradation and biodegradation of cultural heritage artifacts;
• Development and application of new synthetic materials for the restoration/conservation of cultural heritage artifacts;
• Application of natural products (natural extracts, essential oils) for the restoration/conservation of the artifacts.
• Examples of successful collaboration between materials scientists and conservators, which may serve as “best practice” of mutual transfer of knowledge between academic research and practice in the field.


Keywords: Degradation, Archaeometry, Artifacts, Restoration, Conservation, Natural materials, Synthetic materials


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

The area of cultural heritage studies should represent not only an important research area for scientists in various areas of materials science but should provide the basis for choosing the appropriate restoration/conservation strategy. The degradation of cultural heritage materials represents one of the most important threats for their preservation for the future generation. The study of cultural heritage artifacts aims to identify, besides the nature of the materials, their state of degradation and the degradation products affecting them. The restoration/conservation procedure should comprise of a thorough study of the support material of the cultural heritage artifacts (either metal, ceramic, stone, paper, textile, etc.), followed by the development or the identification of the materials to be used for intervention. The proposal of synthetic or natural materials for application on cultural heritage preservation should be supported by studies covering their long-term effect on the artifacts.
Although many advances were recorded in this area in the last decades, the search for alternative procedures and materials for the restoration/conservation of cultural heritage artifacts is in full progress, including the potential subjects of this Research Topic:

• The identification of the structure and composition of cultural heritage artifacts using state-of-the-art methods;
• The correlation between the composition of the artifacts and their degradation pathways;
• The development of synthetic materials with application in cultural heritage restoration/conservation
• The proposal of natural materials for the preservation of the artifacts.

The Research Topic intends to bring together specialists with different backgrounds (materials science, natural products, analytic chemistry, restoration/conservation) in order to offer the readers a comprehensive image of recent developments and perspectives in the area of cultural heritage artifacts degradation pathways and new materials for preventing it.
As the current Research Topic aims to offer a holistic image of the cultural heritage restoration and conservation, contributions in the following areas are welcomed:

• Archaeometry studies covering the application of non- and micro-destructive analytical techniques on different types of artifacts (metal, ceramic and stone, paper, textile), with the aim of elucidating their structure and potential degradation pathways;
• Studies on the degradation and biodegradation of cultural heritage artifacts;
• Development and application of new synthetic materials for the restoration/conservation of cultural heritage artifacts;
• Application of natural products (natural extracts, essential oils) for the restoration/conservation of the artifacts.
• Examples of successful collaboration between materials scientists and conservators, which may serve as “best practice” of mutual transfer of knowledge between academic research and practice in the field.


Keywords: Degradation, Archaeometry, Artifacts, Restoration, Conservation, Natural materials, Synthetic materials


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

31 August 2020 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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