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dozerbilly

Best Possible Preservation Methods For Mammoth Tusk

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dozerbilly

Hello I am new to the forum and seeking advice for the best possible preservation methods for a mammoth tusk recently found in permafrost near a fresh water lake in Northern Alaska.

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jpevahouse

It would be nice to have that problem. Tusks and bones submerged for a very long time often split and crack as they dry. Mammoth and mastodon tusk unless in an unusual state of preservation will split along the concentric growth layers. Professional preservation can be complex and must be done right. I've seem some terrible restoration work over the years.

Lonnie Looper, Greenville, Mississippi, is an expert at fossil preservation and reproduction who occasionally does professional restoration for museums. Here's his web site. I suggest contacting him. I'm sure he could give you the right advice for preservation of such a large and valuable specimen. http://www.cwreplicas.com/index.html

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Auspex

You are already exploring some of the better sealer/consolidants; most folks asking such advise have never heard of Butvar.

I am relieved that this beautiful tusk is in good hands :)

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tmaier

Should a small sample be frozen for preserving the original material?

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dozerbilly

that would definitely be an option for me as winter is approaching here in Alaska.

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jpevahouse

I have fossils dredged from offshore NJ which were varnished by fishermen who found them. It seems to work as far as inhibiting peeling and cracking but looks really awful.

Thank you for the advise. I have been researching preserving methods since i found the tusk. I tested pva varnish and 20% b-72 on a tooth my son found in the same area. I also have butvar-76 coming the mail. I have some brass wool as opposed to steel wool where i read that it doesn't damage blueing on rifles like steel wool does. i was going to polish and but decided against it when i used rain water to wash some of the surface dirt off. and it revealed the extraordinary color and preservation of the tusk. I do not believe that the tusk was under water but recently melted off permafrost. It seems to be in better shape than a lot of caribou antlers we have on the tundra here. I am not sure if soaking consolidation is an option for me for such a large tusk.

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Harry Pristis

Good luck with this project! If you haven't seen my suggestions for consolidation, go here:

http://www.thefossilforum.com/index.php?/user/42-harry-pristis/

Butvar-76 is soluble in alcohol as well as acetone. I have never used alcohol, but it might be a good choice for your large and ungainly tusk.

You might be able to use a long, narrow, plastic window-planter for your project. You can find such planters in home & garden shops.

Let us know how it works out.

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jcbshark

What an awesome piece!!!!!! Congrats and good luck, you're in the right place to find out what you need to know :envy::fistbump:

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dozerbilly

my family and I have also found these through the years on a sand spit that changes with the tide in the same area

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Edited by dozerbilly

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