Accidental Artefacts from Necropoles: Materials Science Test Feasibility and Moral Dilemmas

Arminas Štuopys, Dionyzas Varkalis


The article focuses on ethical dilemmas caused by accidentally found artefacts from the necropolises ofKlaipėda Region that no longer have clear attribute references (tombstones or details of their decoration,epitaph tables, fragments of crosses, etc). The problems are related to the identification of such findings,the establishment of their environmental protection and museum value (whether they are to be protected,exhibited, or valueless), their potential use (as objects of research or of technological interest, memorialobjects, raw materials for restoration, etc.), and their fate. As proved by experience, part of the artefactsare a valuable source of information about the materials used by the craftsmen of the 19th to mid-20th c.,details of decoration, the skills, and technological and colourist resolutions. The artefacts with no clearattribute references can be used for instrumental analysis: for the identification of the composition andstructure of ceramics, metal, paints, and glaze; however, the fate of an artefact primarily depends on themoral decision of a person who found (appropriated, or dismantled) it.

Key words: necropolis, Klaipėda, monument, moral dilemma, materials science tests.



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