Established in April 1985 the Jethavanaya laboratory is used to conserve the artefacts found during excavations. At that time it was the Post Graduate Institute of Archaeology (PGIR) that provided knowledge on conserving these artefacts. Gill Jellef and Anne McLane were the officers who overlooked the project. Even the Jathavanaya museum was also established here.
As the artefacts are thousands of years under the earth they have to be first decomposed. When the artefacts are taken out it decomposes faster because of environmental changes and decay (0₂, water vapor).
Conservation means controlling that decay. This is done by removing the decay sewage which would destroy the artefacts inflicted upon by the environment. Once removed those parts will be refilled using mechanical and chemical methods. Then the artefact will be put in for exhibition or storage under a controlled environment (lighting, relative humidity and temperature).
The laboratory will number and register each artefact. Photographs of the artefacts are taken before and after conversation. From there on sketches will be drawn up, measurements taken, features identified and artefacts will be treated before storage. All facts are entered into a conservation record card.
Scientific reports and conservation reports will be published monthly and annually.