A bronze statue of a Meroitic archer-king: New data

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Publication Type:

Journal Article


Noëlle Timbart; Abdel Rahman Ali Mohamed Rahma; Marc Aucouturier; Michel Baud; Guillemette Andreu-Lanoë; Thierry Borel; Benoit Mille; Christine Pariselle;


Studies in Conservation, Volume 60, Number 3, p.194-210 (2015)


The bronze archer-king statue, masterpiece of the Sudan National Museum in Khartoum, was discovered in 1974 on the site of Tabo, Argo Island, in North Sudan. Its aesthetical and technological qualities inspired archaeologists to perform a complete study and full conservation in Zurich in the 1970s. The multidisciplinary work included iconographic and scientific investigations as well as defining a conservation protocol, and the results were published in 1986. On the occasion of an exhibition in Paris entitled Méroé: Un empire sur le Nil in 2010, a complementary study was conducted in the Centre de recherche et de restauration des musées de France (C2RMF) while restoration treatment was carried out. With a 40-year gap between the first work and the present effort, this example demonstrates, on one hand, the evolution of technological analysis methods and progress in the study of metallurgy and materials. On the other, it shows how the restart of necessary conservation interventions could be based on detailed knowledge of the first protocol and treatment.