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Conservation of Archaeological Ships and Boats

Personal Experiences

Conservation of Archaeological Ships and Boats
Per Hoffmann
London: Archetype Publications
With contributions by Inger Bojesen-Koefoed, David Gregory, Poul Jensen, James A. Spriggs, Kristiane Strætkvern and Markus Wittköpper.

First edition 2013, XV, 173 pages, 205 illustrations, 170 in color, 17 x 24.3 cm, hardcover, bound, 610 g
ISBN 978-1-904982-82-1
52,90 EUR Kaufen
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Behind each archaeological shipwreck recovery lies a team of highly skilled specialists: divers, archaeologists, engineers, scientists, conservators, curators, historians, designers etc. While each boat found presents a unique combination of problems to be overcome, the most challenging aspect of all these projects has been the conservation of the degraded wood, iron and other materials that make up a ship's hull and its contents.

The materials and techniques used in this branch of conservation now are very different from those known about and used in the early 1960s when a truly scientific approach to conservation had yet to appear. The technology of waterlogged wood preservation has advanced enormously over the past five decades. New chemical polymers have become available, together with the means to deploy them effectively: freeze-drying in huge vacuum chambers is now the preferred quick and safe way to remove excess water, and much more is now known about wood degradation processes on the sea-bed, and how to stop wood deteriorating further once on display. Whilst shipwreck conservation is still not an exact science, we are getting there.

Through his lifetime's experience working directly on ship and boat conservation projects, developing treatment schemes and advising on many more, Per Hoffmann is uniquely qualified to write this book. He has invited colleagues eminent in specific fields to provide chapters on particular areas of wood conservation.

This book is essential reading for any archaeologist, conservator or museum curator tempted to take on the responsibility of preserving marine material. Waterlogged wood conservation, let alone the preservation of a whole boat or ship, is not work for the faint-hearted but the results are both rewarding and spectacular.


Über den/die Autor/In

Per Hoffmann was the founding head of the Department and Research Laboratory for Wet Archaeological Wood Conservation at the Deutsches Schiffahrtsmuseum in Bremerhaven, Germany. He is a member of advisory boards for the Vasa, the Mary Rose Trust, and the Newport Medieval Ship.