Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

The purpose of this research is to investigate the molecular constitution of silk and the specific causes of post-production degradation in silk material. This capstone project focused specifically on the conditions and degradation of ancient Chinese silk products provided by the Chinese National Silk Museum. Modern silk products were artificially degraded and compared to the ancient silk using Py-GC-MS and comparative analytic techniques. This investigation revealed that the ancient silk products most likely underwent degradation in elevated temperatures while in the presence of moisture and the absence of sunlight or UV radiation during long term burial.

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