A team was put together composed of scholars from both the humanities and natural sciences, including representatives from conservation science, restoration techniques, archaeology, art history, anthropology, microbiology, and metrology. We carried out field research for five weeks each year from August to October. However, we were compelled to change our schedule to the winter season in 2006 due to the Israeli ground attack and invasion in the south of the country.
While restoration and conservation was the primary objective of this research, the project was in fact a comprehensive interdisciplinary survey of the underground tomb wall paintings in TJ04 of Ramali and T.01. T of Bruj al Shamali.
The multi-faceted investigation of the tombs included composition analyses of the pigmentation of the wall paintings and plaster, analyses of painting techniques using infrared photography, environmental measurements in the interior of the chamber (temperature, humidity, illuminance, ultraviolet levels, air pollution, fungus, and microorganisms), scientific analyses on excavated artifacts such as glass bottles, lead coffins, coins, mosaics, and bedrock, and application of scientific preservation treatments for artifacts made of steel, copper, and linen. In addition, the team cleaned the wall paintings, reinforced fragile parts of the walls, wall paintings, mosaics and bedrock, and carried out archaeological research on the artifacts and structures of the tomb. In Ramali TJ04 the team managed to reconstruct the collapsed stone repository, and in Bruj al Shamali T.01, we carried out carbon-14 dating on the human bones, deciphered the inscriptions on the mosaic, and took three-dimensional measurements of the artifacts and structures.
Based on the data gained from the research, we will continue our efforts to determine the year of production of the wall paintings in the tombs, and the identity, social background, and historical significance of the person buried. Restoration and preservation work on the wall paintings and tomb is ongoing, in order to ensure that this heritage is passed on to future generations.