“National Museums Scotland acquired the Galloway Hoard, as it came to be known, in 2017. Since then, conservators have been working to clean and restore the items, all of which spent more than 1,000 years buried in the Scottish field. This week, the National Museum of Scotland (NMS) released new images of the latest object to undergo conservation: an intricately decorated Anglo-Saxon cross.
After a millennium underground, the cross was encrusted with dirt. Wrapped in a coiled silver cord made out of wire bundled around an animal-gut core, it proved difficult to clean. Improvising, conservators turned to a carved porcupine quill—a tool “sharp enough to remove the dirt yet soft enough not to damage the metalwork,” according to a statement.”
Source: Smithsonian Magazine Online