Conservation for Underwater Archaeology

Part of: Society for Historical Archaeology 2014

The interpretation of the artifacts raised during underwater archaeological excavations often begins with the conservation, not the excavation. Though the conservation process is less glamorous than the excavation, it is vital to the successful interpretation of any underwater project.

Resources Inside This Collection (Viewing 1-7 of 7)

  • Documents (7)

  • Assessing the Long Term Stability of Underwater Archaeological Conservation Techniques (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Christopher Dostal.

    The ideal end result of any archaeological conservation project is the long term stability of conserved artifacts. The scientific conservation of unstable archaeological materials recovered from underwater sites is still a relatively nascent field, and as such, long term assessments of common conservation techniques are vital to the continued advancement of the field. Along with evaluating the ‘tried and true’ methods, it is prudent to consolidate and assess the efficacy of new and innovative...

  • Community Conservation: A ‘Hands-On’ Approach for Bringing the Rhetoric of Preservation to the People! (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Paul Gates.

    The Conservation Laboratory at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is a year-round artifact treatment facility that is open to the public during the museum season. The lab works to preserve artifacts from a variety of regional archaeology projects. Museum visitors have the rare opportunity to see conservation as it happens, and to ask questions about the treatment process. As part of Vermont Archaeology Month in September 2013, conservators have taken more direct action in engaging our...

  • Conservation adds yet another piece to the puzzle: the treatment of a 16th century Basque anchor from Red Bay National Historic Site, Labrador (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Flora Davidson.

    Red Bay is recognized as the largest 16th century Basque whaling station in North America. This is based on extensive archival research begun in the 1970’s followed by 6 years of archaeological survey and excavation resulting in thousands of artifacts being raised. Even at this well studied site, the opportunity to add to the existing wealth of knowledge presented itself with the discovery of another wreck and anchor in 2004. While in-situ inspection of the wreck’s construction and anchor...

  • Experiments on particle physics using underwater cultural heritage: the dilemma (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Elena Perez Alvaro.

    One of the most important laboratories for observation for rare events used 120 archaeological lead bricks from a 2000 years old shipwreck for research into particle physics because of its low radioactivity. The dilemma is if there is any justification on using underwater cultural heritage for legitimate purposes. Definition and attribution of values to archaeological and cultural material have changed through history. Although all values are valid, individuals and organizations emphasize more...

  • A Fine Wreck in Shallow Water: The Excavation and in situ Conservation of the Soldier Key Wreck (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Allen Wilson.

    Looters, archaeologists, and weather events have done irreparable damage to the Soldier Key wreck (BISC-22, 8Da416) site since the 1970s. Despite previous archaeological investigations, little information and few artifacts from those excavations exist. In the summer of 2012, a team assembled in Biscayne National Park to uncover, map, and photograph the site, as well as collect any remaining diagnostic artifacts. Despite the paucity of cultural material remaining, diagnostic features of the...

  • The taphonomy of historic shipwreck sites: implications for heritage management (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only Amelia Astley. Justin Dix. Fraser Sturt. Charlotte Thompson.

    If we wish to understand the surviving shipwreck record and to inform strategies of heritage, management and conservation an improved knowledge of the variable impact of marine physical processes is required. I am approaching this problem at a range of scales from full wreck to individual artefact scale, through a combination of bathymetric survey, diver monitoring and physical modelling in a controlled laboratory environment. The first phase of this work has involved the integration of ...

  • Un travail de longue haleine: Vingt ans de préservation des vestiges du Elizabeth and Mary (2014)
    DOCUMENT Citation Only André Bergeron.

    Pendant plus de 300 ans, les vestiges de la culture matérielle utilisée par un petit groupe de miliciens provenant de Dorchester, en Nouvelle-Angleterre, ont. été oubliés dans les eaux du fleuve Saint-Laurent. Ces hommes avaient apportés avec eux ce dont ils avaient besoin pour leur vie de tous les jours, ainsi que des armes qui allaient être utilisées lors du siège de Québec. L’épave de leur navire, le Elizabeth and Mary, fut découverte la veille de Noel en 1994; l’année 2014 en souligne le...