Preservation of the impressions
Plasticine is the most common material used for making impressions of Aegean seals/sealings. It is the easiest and fastest material to use and its impressions, when the appropriate plasticine is used, reproduce the seal face with complete accuracy.
However, the durability of the material is limited to a few decades and it is certainly much less durable than either silicone or gypsum. Unfortunately, it has recently come to our notice that a very small number of pieces have come to the end of their life span since they dried up and broke up into two or three fragments.
We are at the moment experimenting with methods in which we could reproduce the plasticine pieces with casts made of more durable materials, namely gypsum or artificial resin. Our first experiments have shown that it is possible to create silicone forms cast from the plasticine impressions which reproduce the seal faces with accuracy without harming the plasticines. These forms can then be cast again with the appropriate material in order to create exact reproductions of the plasticines which will keep for some centuries.
Such an undertaking needs careful consideration and requires good preparation in order to ensure both the safety of the plasticines as well as time-efficiency. These efforts will therefore be organized as a project in and of itself which will guarantee the long-term existence of the archive.