Exploring Practitioners’ In Situ Preservation and Storage for Underwater Cultural Heritage

Exploring Practitioners’ In Situ Preservation and Storage for Underwater Cultural Heritage
Exploring Practitioners’
Attitudes Towards In Situ
Preservation and Storage for
Underwater Cultural Heritage
Nicole Ortmann
Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology)
Bachelor of Music (Orchestral Instrument)
Department of Archaeology
Flinders University
Master of Maritime Archaeology
13th January 2009
Table of Contents
List of Figures ......................................................................................................... v
List of Tables ........................................................................................................... v
Declaration ............................................................................................................. vi
Abstract ................................................................................................................. vii
Acknowledgements .............................................................................................. viii
Chapter 1: Definitions and Methods ....................................................................... 1
Introduction..................................................................................................................... 1
Defining In Situ Preservation and Storage ...................................................................... 3
Methodology ................................................................................................................... 6
The Literature Review ............................................................................................... 6
The Questionnaire ...................................................................................................... 6
Aims and Objectives ....................................................................................................... 7
Chapter 2: In Situ Preservation and Archaeology ................................................... 9
Reviewing the Literature ................................................................................................ 9
Exploring the Archaeology ........................................................................................... 10
Reburial and Re-covering Methods ......................................................................... 11
Cathodic Protection .................................................................................................. 17
Chemical Methods ................................................................................................... 18
Discussion ..................................................................................................................... 19
Chapter 3: In Situ Preservation and Scientific Experimentation ........................... 22
Exploring the Science ................................................................................................... 22
Laboratory Experiments Focusing on Organic Material .......................................... 23
Field Experiments Focusing on Organic Materials .................................................. 24
Experiments Focusing on Metals ............................................................................. 26
Research into Archaeological Environments and Sampling Methods ..................... 27
Large Scale Projects ................................................................................................. 28
James Matthews ................................................................................................... 28
ii
Nydam Mose ........................................................................................................ 30
BACPOLES ......................................................................................................... 30
MoSS ................................................................................................................... 31
RAAR .................................................................................................................. 32
Discussion ..................................................................................................................... 35
Chapter 4: Questionnaires and Attitudes ............................................................... 38
Developing the Questionnaire ...................................................................................... 38
Delivering the Questionnaire ........................................................................................ 41
Analysing the Questionnaire ......................................................................................... 42
Software ................................................................................................................... 42
Statistics ................................................................................................................... 43
The Questionnaire Results ............................................................................................ 45
Distribution of Sample ............................................................................................. 46
Assessing General Site Types .................................................................................. 48
Use of In Situ Preservation and Storage ................................................................... 49
Decisions Regarding Monitoring ............................................................................. 57
Conclusion .................................................................................................................... 61
Chapter 5: Examining Attitudes and Issues .......................................................... 62
Continuing Research ..................................................................................................... 63
Maintaining Active Management ................................................................................. 66
Procuring Knowledge ................................................................................................... 68
In Situ as a Tool ............................................................................................................ 70
Including the public ...................................................................................................... 72
Continuing the Discussion ............................................................................................ 73
Chapter 6: Conclusion ........................................................................................... 76
Bodies of Literature ...................................................................................................... 76
Questionnaires and Practitioners .................................................................................. 78
Into the Future............................................................................................................... 80
Appendix A: Practitioner Questionnaire ............................................................... 83
Definitions .................................................................................................................... 84
Background Information ............................................................................................... 86
Section A: General Site Questions................................................................................ 86
Section B: In Situ Preservation and Storage ................................................................. 88
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Section C: Site Monitoring ........................................................................................... 91
Appendix B: Results by Question for Practitioner Questionnaire ........................ 93
Background Information ............................................................................................... 93
Part A ............................................................................................................................ 95
Part B .......................................................................................................................... 105
Part C .......................................................................................................................... 125
References ........................................................................................................... 134
iv
List of Figures
Figure 1. Career by respondent. ............................................................................ 46
Figure 2. Sector by respondent. ............................................................................. 47
Figure 3. Career versus sector. .............................................................................. 48
Figure 4. Responses to use of in situ preservation and storage (B1)..................... 50
Figure 5. Responses to continued use of in situ preservation and storage (B2). ... 50
Figure 6. Reasons for never using in situ preservation (B13). .............................. 51
Figure 7. Reasons for not continuing to use in situ preservation and storage (B3).
............................................................................................................................... 52
Figure 8. Reasons given for reconsidering use of in situ methods in the future (B4
& B14). .................................................................................................................. 53
Figure 9. Career versus use of in situ methods...................................................... 54
Figure 10. Career versus reasons for not using in situ methods. ........................... 55
Figure 11. Reasons for not utilising monitoring (C8). .......................................... 59
Figure 12. Reasons for reconsidering decisions about monitoring (C9). .............. 60
List of Tables
Table 1. Measurements of association between career and use of in situ methods.
............................................................................................................................... 56
Table 2. Measures of association between career choice and use of monitoring. . 61
v
Declaration
I certify that this thesis does not incorporate without acknowledgment any
material previously submitted for a degree or diploma in any university; and that
to the best of my knowledge and belief, it does not contain any material
previously published or written by another person except where due reference is
made in the text.
Nicole Ortmann
13th January 2009
vi
Abstract
This thesis explores existing attitudes towards the practice of in situ methods of
preservation and storage held by practitioners worldwide. With the UNESCO
Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage now in effect in
its twenty two signatory countries, the practice of in situ preservation and storage
stands to become a significant part of managing submerged cultural heritage. It is
important that a clear understanding of the practice be provided to practitioners in
order for these cultural resources to be best protected. A literature review of
archaeological and scientific projects and experiments was undertaken to provide
a basis from which currently held attitudes could be investigated. A questionnaire
was developed that assessed how practitioners utilise and understand in situ
preservation and storage as well as what types of methods are being used and the
reasoning behind practitioners‘ choice of methods. The online questionnaire,
aimed at a multi-disciplinary group of practitioners, produced a wide range of
responses that highlighted the complex uses and understandings that exist about in
situ methods. Key issues included a lack of a cohesive definition of in situ
preservation and storage that clearly designates what constitutes in situ methods
as opposed to neglect; the difficulties faced by practitioners in terms of financial,
political and legislative concerns; the perception that in situ methods curb the
traditional collection of data through excavation; the continued need to preserve
sites based on site-specific parameters; and the impact of in situ preservation and
storage on public and academic access. The resulting thesis is a significant
resource in terms of understanding current practices, directing future research and
continuing the discussion of how practitioners approach the management of
underwater cultural heritage.
vii
Acknowledgements
This thesis owes a great deal to a number of individuals who have provided
assistance on all fronts. It would not have been possible at all without the
participation of numerous individuals who took the time to complete the
practitioners‘ questionnaire. Your thoughts and insights were an integral
component of this work and I extend my sincere thanks and appreciation.
There are some important people in my life who may not have directly worked on
this project with me, but whose support was nonetheless indispensable. Without
you, I would not have embarked on or completed this journey. Thank you to:
Tracy Schulze and Jann Perovan, for reminding me that life shouldn‘t be so
serious all the time; Andrea Hamel, for motivating me to tackle this degree and
showing me it could be done; David Stone, for teaching me the basics I needed to
get started and for continuing to believe; the Underwater Archaeological Society
of British Columbia, for providing me with the projects I cut my teeth on; and to
my mentor, Dr James Delgado, for continuing to be such an inspiration.
I would also like to acknowledge the Department of Archaeology and Flinders
University, in particular: Dr Mark Staniforth, for providing a much needed place
at university for those interested in maritime archaeology; Dr Lynley Wallis, for
general advice and support; and Dr Alice Gorman, for explaining the ethics
approval requirements.
Thanks to Peter Harvey for providing a sounding board in the early days when I
was looking for both a revelation and a topic and for opening his home to me.
Peta Knott willing shared with me much sound advice on the ethics approval
process. It was very much appreciated.
Many thanks to my colleague Peter Ross for assisting with the formatting of
images and for testing the online questionnaire.
I was lucky to have not one, but two wonderful supervisors to offer feedback,
suggestions and criticisms. Jennifer McKinnon provided excellent academic and
structural advice. She encouraged me to ask questions and dig deeper; her insight
allowed me to explore my topic in new ways. She also helped to keep me levelviii
headed during a process in which I sometimes felt the end would never
materialise. Vicki Richards, too, has been phenomenal. She took time out of her
busy work schedule to explain her world of museum conservation, answer my
many questions and provide essential feedback. She showed the utmost patience
with me while I tried to grasp complex science concepts. Thank you for allowing
me behind the scenes.
Family has always been central to my life experiences. The production of this
thesis proved no different. I don‘t believe that one of them escaped unscathed.
My brother-in-law, Maarten, provided much appreciated assistance by providing
feedback about structuring questionnaires for those with English as a second
language and for testing the online delivery system.
My sisters, Alice and Laura, both provided encouragement, praise and the odd
admonishment through out the process. They tested the online delivery system,
then took on the monumental task of ensuring my spelling and grammar passed
muster. Your support has meant more than I can put into words. A special thank
you must be extended to Alice for sharing with me her expertise on microbiology
and bacterial cultures and to Laura for completing the questionnaire hundreds of
times, on paper and online, to ensure every detail was right.
My parents have been my foundation from the beginning. The decision to uproot
my life to follow a dream was not an easy one. Thank you for providing your
unconditional love and support during what has been both a difficult and
rewarding period.
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Chapter 1: Definitions and Methods
Introduction
‗[H]istory is, in large part, a catalogue of examples of in situ [sic]
preservation‘ (Holden et al. 2006, p. 59)
As the quote above attests, in situ preservation occurs naturally, to an extent,
within archaeology as a whole. This preservation can sometimes be even more
pronounced in waterlogged and submerged environments. From the discovery of
Swiss Lake Villages in the 1850s (Delgado 1997, p. 233-235; Desor 1865) and
Roman shipwrecks in the early twentieth century (Delgado 1997, p. 233;
Muckelroy 1998, pp. 29-31; Ucelli 1950) to the modern and high-tech
explorations of the deep ocean that have revealed ancient wrecks such as the
Skerki vessels (McCann 2001, p. 257; McCann & Oleson 2004), archaeologists
have been aware of the innate natural ability of water, and especially waterlogged
sediments, to preserve a wide range of cultural materials. In the last few years,
trends in submerged cultural heritage management have been towards in situ
preservation and storage for a number of reasons, such as financial and curatorial
considerations (Corfield 1996, p. 33; Oxley 1998b, p. 159; Stewart, Murdock &
Waddell 1995, p.793). But while archaeological sites in submerged and wetland
areas continue to be discovered, proving that natural preservation is possible, the
chemical, biological and physical mechanisms behind these discoveries have only
recently begun to be explored (Caple, Dungworth & Clogg 1997, p. 57; Corfield
1996, p. 32; Manders 2004b, p. 279; Oxley 1998b, p.159).
Textbooks focusing on underwater archaeology or heritage management often
include sections about in situ preservation (Babits & Van Tilburg 1998, p. 590;
Dean & The Nautical Archaeology Society 1992, p. 332; Green 2003, p. 470). A
review of these texts seems to demonstrate the concept lacks cohesive definition.
This can lead to an understanding by newcomers to the archaeological field that
wet sites reach equilibrium with their environment and therefore, if not physically
disturbed, will remain stable over time. While to an extent this is true and may be
preferable to any type of disturbance, the ―don‘t touch‖ attitude does not
necessarily constitute in situ preservation. The site will change as the environment
1
around it changes and actions must be taken, either through active intervention or
monitoring, to confirm that these changes are not affecting preservation.
Over the last decade or so, in situ forms of preservation and storage have been
consistently emphasised as the preferred option under most circumstances for
preserving submerged and waterlogged cultural heritage for future generations
(Babits & Van Tilburg 1998, p. 590; Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, pp. 7
& 15; Dean & The Nautical Archaeology Society 1992, p. 332; Green 2003, p.
470; International Council on Monuments and Sites 1996, p. 1-5; United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization 2001, p. 56-61). The United
Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
underscores the use of in situ methods in its 2001 Convention on the Protection of
the Underwater Cultural Heritage (United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization 2001, pp. 51 & 58-60) as does the 1996 Charter for the
Protection and Management of the Underwater Cultural Heritage adopted by the
International Council on Monuments and Sites (International Council on
Monuments and Sites 1996, p. 2). Many other organisations, while not formally
installing in situ preservation into their by-laws or constitutions, still stress the
importance of this concept in their educational programmes; the Nautical
Archaeology Society (NAS) in the United Kingdom is one such group. If in situ
methods are to be promoted as the primary means of preserving underwater
cultural heritage, they must be explored in depth, or it could be difficult to argue
that in situ preservation and storage methods are truly in the best interest of the
artefacts, features and sites.
During the last ten years, studies have been undertaken to explore the idea of in
situ preservation and storage in order to test the assumptions made about the
preservative nature of sediment coverage in waterlogged environments, either
natural or through reburial. Programmes such as Reburial and Analyses of
Archaeological Remains (RAAR) in Marstrand, Sweden (Bergstrand & Nyström
Godfrey 2007) and Monitoring, Safeguarding and Visualizing North-European
Shipwreck Sites (MoSS), involving a number of European nations such as
Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom
(Cederlund 2004), have been carried out in the field on a number of sites.
Laboratory studies by Björdal, Nilsson and others in Sweden have also shown that
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there is merit in pursuing in situ methods (Björdal, Daniel & Nilsson 2000;
Björdal & Nilsson 2008; Björdal & Nilsson 2002; Björdal & Nilsson 1999;
Björdal, Nilsson & Daniel 1999; Björdal, Nilsson & Petterson 2007). In Australia,
work on several wrecks has been particularly important in experimenting with the
use of sacrificial anodes on metals and reburial schemes (Godfrey et al. 2005;
Hosty 1988; MacLeod 1998a&b; MacLeod 1993; McCarthy 1987; Moran 1997b;
Nash 1991; Winton & Richards 2005).
It is not just the methodology that needs to be addressed. Central to implementing
in situ preservation and storage is an understanding of current attitudes towards,
and uses of, in situ preservation methods among practitioners in light of recent
research. Who is using in situ preservation methods and why? If practitioners are,
as a whole or in part, not using in situ preservation and storage, what are the
reasons? What forms are the most prevalent and why? Through understanding the
current research and methods of in situ preservation and storage, patterns may
emerge that will inform changes to research and highlight trends crucial to
understanding the future of the practice.
Defining In Situ Preservation and Storage
In order to explore this topic in more depth, it is necessary to create definitions
that will allow the subject matter to be limited to a manageable size. Waterlogged
sediment occurs in a variety of different areas, including urban and rural terrestrial
sites. In the United Kingdom, for example, English Heritage has funded
substantial work on wetland sites dating from the Neolithic through the Medieval
period (Caple 1998; Caple, Dungworth & Clogg 1997; Corfield 1996; GoodburnBrown & Hughes 1996). As the intent of this thesis is to explore underwater and
maritime heritage, sites such as these will not be addressed in this study. To this
end, the following three definitions will be applied to determine the types of sites
to be explored. These definitions will apply throughout the research conducted
here.
3
Maritime Archaeology
The archaeological study of human interaction with the sea through
seafaring. This includes not only the vessels themselves, but port and
harbour structures; fishing, whaling and other maritime subsistence
activities; lighthouse and shore-based structures that aid in seafaring;
and any other type of site that has connections to the use of the sea
and its resources by humans.
Underwater Site
Any site, feature or artefact found in a body of water, whether it be a
lake, river or sea; these sites may include those which have become
inundated over time and are currently underwater, such as habitation
or ceremonial sites.
Waterlogged Terrestrial Site
Any site that may now be treated as a terrestrial site, but was at some
previous time under any body of water such as a lake, river or sea and
which people interacted with as a water body for the purposes of
transport, subsistence, economy or ceremony. These sites will not
include sites which have always been terrestrial but yet waterlogged
unless they can be clearly related to the maritime landscape through
the above definition of maritime archaeology.
In Chapter Three, examination of the experimental literature will include work
completed in waterlogged terrestrial sediments, as the nature of the work and its
conclusions will be valid, especially in the case of waterlogged terrestrial sites as
defined above.
It is also useful to define in situ preservation and storage. Submerged and buried
maritime heritage exists in an environment that, without disturbance, is conducive
to long-term preservation of a variety of archaeological materials (Bergstrand &
Nyström Godfrey 2007, p. 10; Corfield 1996, p. 32). Once these sites are
disturbed, chemical, biological, and physical forces begin to destroy the fragile
stability. In situ preservation and storage aims at restoring this stability by slowing
down the mechanisms of deterioration and degradation (Corfield 1996, p. 32). It is
important to note that these techniques do not stop deterioration of archaeological
materials. There are many ways to provide stability and often the delineation
between them is blurred. The following definitions are aimed at providing some
clarity.
4
In situ preservation
Any steps taken on or intervention with a site in order to extend its
longevity while maintaining original context and spatial position;
while artefacts and features may have been excavated and/or removed,
the site itself remains in place and retains all or a majority of its
original context.
In situ storage
Any steps taken to preserve the physical, historical and aesthetic
integrity of artefacts and features excavated from a site through the
creation of a separate space where items are stored within the confines
of an environment similar or deemed to be more beneficial to that
from which they were removed.
In situ preservation is based on the concept that certain environments naturally
produce situations capable of slowing deterioration. As Holden et al. (2006, p. 59)
indicate, it is this very process that allows archaeologists to uncover the past
through excavation. Early reburial schemes, such as those used at Red Bay, were
in part based on that idea (Stewart, Murdock & Waddell 1995, p. 794). The
inclusion of conservation scientists with various chemical and biological
backgrounds led in some instances to the adoption of well-established scientific
principles into conservation strategies. The use of sacrificial anodes and cathodic
protection for iron artefacts by MacLeod on the Sirius site (MacLeod 1996a, p.
111), while promising in terms of in situ developments, was originally intended to
provide increased stability in conjunction with conventional forms of retrieval and
treatment. Since then, anodes have been used to protect sites in situ where there
has been no intention of retrieving remaining materials (Heldtberg, MacLeod &
Richards 2005, p. 75; MacLeod 1998b, p. 81; MacLeod 1995, p. 53; MacLeod et
al. 2005, p. 53).
As more emphasis is placed on protecting submerged cultural heritage, it becomes
crucial to understand how in situ preservation and storage is perceived and utilised
to protect these resources. With UNESCO having taken effect on 2 January 2009
and impacting 22 signatory states, the prevalence of in situ programmes stands to
increase and the methods used could impact protection of submerged cultural
heritage either positively or negatively. What is known about in situ preservation
and storage? What projects currently use these methods and how successful are
they? What contributions are being made by other disciplines and how are they
5
incorporated into the fields of archaeology and cultural resource management?
And by what mechanisms can these questions be addressed?
Methodology
In order to investigate current practitioners‘ attitudes towards in situ preservation
and storage in a cohesive manner, a suitable approach was needed. To determine
what types of influences would be acting on practitioners, it was essential to
understand the body of literature produced. A mixed-methods research design was
developed that allowed for the literature to inform a mainly quantitative approach
to collecting information about attitudes through a questionnaire. Central to this
decision was the issue of interdependence: the question of practitioners‘ attitudes
was dependent on a qualitative reading of the literature (Creswell & Plano Clark
2007, p. 34). Triangulation Design was chosen, specifically a convergence model
that allowed the qualitative and quantitative to be collected and analysed
separately and the results of each to be combined to produce an interpretation
(Creswell & Plano Clark 2007, pp. 64-65). The intent of this model was to
provide a legitimate set of conclusions demonstrating how in situ preservation and
storage is understood and used. The two methods used in this model have been a
literature review and a questionnaire.
The Literature Review
A literature review is a ‗systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for
identifying, evaluating, and synthesizing the existing body of completed and
recorded work produced by researchers, scholars, and practitioners‘ (Fink 2005, p.
3). Literature reviews describe a current body of research with the objective of
explaining and guiding professional practices, by identifying and developing new
avenues of research or through interpreting existing literature (Fink 2005, pp. 810). In this thesis, the literature review was approached from a qualitative
standpoint as the intent of the review was inductive and exploratory
The Questionnaire
A questionnaire was developed to evaluate attitudes towards in situ preservation
and storage by practitioners throughout the world. A number of texts were
consulted (Alreck & Settle 2004; De Vaus 2002; Foddy 1988; Foddy 1993). The
6
sampling method chosen to define participants followed the method of nonprobability purposive sampling (De Vaus 2002, p. 91). This is based on the notion
that the questions to be asked require a certain amount of insider knowledge in the
field of maritime and underwater archaeology, as well as conventional and in situ
methods of preservation. A list of those invited to participate was drawn in part
from the review of the literature. This provided a solid basis from which to
expand as it was composed of current practitioners in the scientific, archaeological
and heritage conservation and management communities. In addition to this,
discussion with individuals in these communities known to the researcher
identified other participants through professional relationships. The Nautical
Archaeology Society in the United Kingdom agreed to circulate a request for
participation to the membership and the online Museum of Underwater
Archaeology (MUA) managed out of Rhode Island was amenable to posting a
notice on its website. Other groups approached included members of The
Conservation Digest and Sub-Arch list serves, as well as the Society for Historical
Archaeology (SHA), the Australasian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA)
and the American Institute for Conservation (AIC). Through this method of
networking, a representative sample of practitioners covering most professions,
such as research scientists, archaeologists, conservators and academics in related
fields was created.
Aims and Objectives
The first section of this thesis uses a literature review to explore current practices
in in situ preservation and storage. In situ methods have been developed through
interdisciplinary research and this dichotomy is apparent in the literature. A clear
delineation between research that has focused on archaeology and those
emphasising chemistry and biology seems to exist. Therefore it was decided that
the literature would be reviewed in two chapters, one concentrating on projects in
which in situ methods have been put into practice on archaeological sites and one
focusing on projects aimed at exploring chemical, biological and physical
processes.
The second section explores existing attitudes within the professional
communities through the use of a questionnaire. The questionnaire was developed
7
with the intent to quantitatively and qualitatively measure how in situ preservation
and storage have been or are being utilised by archaeologists, conservators and
research scientists. An examination of the questionnaire and the software used to
disseminate, collect and examine it and the results is presented. A discussion of
the statistical methods used to evaluate the data accompanies the presentation of
the analysed results. Both the questionnaire and the collected data appear as
appendices.
The final section explores the implications of the questionnaire and literature
review by combining and analysing the results in order to underline current trends
and patterns. Identification of possible future work based on analysis of the
questionnaire and literature review is addressed. Evaluation of the methods used
to gather subject matter will have the advantage of highlighting the validity of the
results and could also advance new hypotheses for further exploration.
8
Chapter 2: In Situ Preservation and Archaeology
Reviewing the Literature
In order to understand what is currently in use, a literature review was performed.
Understanding what developments and ideologies may have had a hand in
informing possible attitudes also proved helpful for designing the questionnaire
employed to collect and assess practitioners‘ understandings of the subject
(Creswell 2003, pp. 88-89). The following provides a description of the
methodology used to locate and review the literature explored in this and the
succeeding chapter.
By applying the developed definitions of maritime, underwater and waterlogged
sites, a number of databases, such as ScienceDirect, Wiley Interscience and Web
of Knowledge, were explored in order to identify possible items for review.
Content deemed useful was read and summarised; of particular importance were
the bibliographies as these were able to generate items of interest that had not
been found during initial research. These were then divided into two separate
groups: those approaching in situ preservation and storage from a primarily
archaeological stance, and those approaching the subject in terms of the chemicophysical and biological. The former category consists mainly of archaeological
surveys and excavations carried out by archaeologists based on a variety of
understandings about in situ methods and techniques. Some projects may have
had conservators present who informed the preservation process while others did
not. The main delineator is that the intent of the project was to preserve remains in
situ, regardless of what form was used. In the second category, the projects were
experimental in nature, with the intent being to understand the processes behind in
situ preservation. These studies were less focused on preserving particular
underwater cultural heritage and more on understanding or developing methods
and techniques.
Using an exploratory approach (Hart 1998, p. 47), a broad understanding of both
types of literature was developed that defined the history of the topic as well as
the current state. Questions asked were based on those defined by Fink (2005, p.
53). Was the research design valid and were the sources on which it was based
consistent and applicable? Were the methods used appropriate and are the results
9
yielded significant and practical? Was there an understanding of the strengths and
weaknesses of the research?
Also of importance was assessing whether or not the current body of literature
was accessible to the widely varied audience using it to inform subsequent
projects and research. Here, the explanatory approach was used to explore the
event, in this case, current practitioners‘ attitudes. What types of attitudes were
prevalent within the literature and could these views be linked to the current state
of research? This, along with a summative evaluation of the literature, provided a
basic overview of existing research and projects. From this knowledge base,
abstract ideas about in situ preservation and storage were reformed into questions
that fashioned the questionnaire.
Certain limitations became evident during research. The amount of literature to be
reviewed meant that studies deemed by the researcher to be more inclusive or
significant received more attention. This introduced a particular bias into the
research. The interdisciplinary nature of the literature also proved restrictive. This
in itself highlighted the varied nature of the subject, which will no doubt continue
to be an area for development. The language barrier also limited the extent of the
review. Only literature available in either English or French was explored.
Exploring the Archaeology
Over the years, a number of different archaeological projects have applied various
in situ preservation methods. A number of reasons have necessitated these
projects, such as economic feasibility (Stewart, Murdock & Waddell 1995, p. 791)
and responses to site instability issues (Hosty 1988, p. 13; Staniforth 2006, p. 52).
Some have been more carefully monitored for longevity and impact than others
(Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, p. 15). The main research objective of
these in situ applications was and continues to be the preservation of
archaeological remains. This sets them apart from other investigations such as
BACPOLES, MoSS and RAAR (see Chapter Three), which focus on the scientific
processes behind in situ preservation and storage. A number of these
archaeological projects have included sampling and monitoring programmes
(Guthrie et al. 1994; Pournou, Jones & Moss 1999; Stewart, Murdock & Waddell
1995) which provided chemical, biological and environmental information to
10
enrich and expand this relatively new field. These projects, however, have
continued to be aimed at protecting cultural remains and do not emphasise
experimentation leading to an understanding of the science of in situ preservation.
These projects have met with varying degrees of success. While by no means
exhaustive, the following explores a number of projects that have reported the
results of applied in situ techniques.
Reburial and Re-covering Methods
A number of techniques have been developed in the reburial or re-covering
method of protection. The idea of using a physical barrier to protect sites is based
on the notion that the original burial site created conditions conducive to
preserving archaeological materials. Recreating or imitating the original
conditions should, in theory, provide similar protection (Oxley 1998a, p. 91). The
goal in the majority of these projects is to re-create a stable reburial environment,
slowing chemical, biological and physical deterioration. This can be accomplished
in different ways, such as backfilling of excavated sediment, installing various
forms of barriers and encouraging sediment deposition on site (Oxley 1998a, pp.
97-100 & 104; Oxley 1998b, p. 159). Barriers can include sandbags and
geotextiles while sediment deposition can be encouraged with mats of artificial
sea grass, debris netting or geotextiles (Oxley 1998a, pp. 100-104; Oxley 1998b,
pp. 159 & 165). Each of these techniques has its own inherent advantages and
disadvantages.
In terms of archaeological use of in situ preservation, reburial seems to be the first
method to be used regularly. An attempt to stabilise the barque Day Dawn in 1982
utilised a sediment drop in order to bury the vessel (Moran 1997b, p. 129). This
unfortunately failed as did a later attempt to protect William Salthouse by the
same technique (Harvey 1996, p. 3; Hosty 1988, p. 13). This was in part due to
the type of sediment used in the drop; finer sediment such as sand is often carried
away by currents before it has a chance to settle on site (Oxley 1998b, p. 168).
Heavier sediments, such as gravel or even reuse of ship ballast, are more
successful, though questions remain about whether or not this can damage the site
(Oxley 1998b, p. 168). While this form of reburial may be cost effective, Oxley
(1998b, p. 168) notes that planning in terms of site environment, type of sediment
11
used and how the drop is to be completed is a key element in ensuring the success
of this technique.
Backfilling of archaeological sites remains standard practice. While some may not
consider it in situ preservation, it does provide stability. It is also cost efficient and
requires little else in terms of materials. Sites such as Pandora, in Queensland
(Gesner 1993, p. 7; Guthrie et al. 1994, p. 19), and the Legare Anchorage wreck
in the Biscayne National Park, Florida (Skowronek et al. 1987, pp. 316-317), have
used this method in an effort to safeguard the sites from unscrupulous divers and
protect exposed timbers from aerobic biological deterioration.
Parks Canada undertook an extensive reburial project in the 1980s on a whaling
site at Red Bay, Labrador. When confronted with a large site that included a
number of galleons as well as several other small vessels, they were forced to
consider alternative means to preserve the various components of the site. Among
the factors that are said to have influenced the use of reburial were character of the
resource, the impact of intervention on the physical and historic integrity of the
site and the availability of funds and personnel (Stewart, Murdock & Waddell
1995, p. 794). While it is possible that these factors were equally evaluated, it
seems that the crippling financial implications of conventional recovery,
conservation and storage weighed more heavily on the decision than anything else
(Cook 2005, p. 165). Regardless of the factors influencing their decision, the
archaeologists at Parks Canada designed a reburial scheme that was meant to
ensure ‗the condition of the wreck and the environment that surround [sic] it can
be monitored to insure [sic] that the original preservation intention of the reburial
is being met‘ (Stewart, Murdock & Waddell 1995, p. 794). The burial mound
consisted of a 1-1.5 metre mound of sand covered by synthetic rubber tarpaulin
and anchored with concrete-filled tyres (Stewart, Murdock & Waddell 1995, p.
796). This design accounted for many environmental aspects, including the
movement of icebergs in the area. These icebergs have been known to scrape deep
channels into the seabed and it was hoped that the addition of the tyres would
prevent such damage (Stewart, Murdock & Waddell 1995, p. 795).
The Parks Canada Conservation Division was charged with managing
conservation and monitoring (Cook 2005, p. 165; Stevens 1981, p. 36). Dipwells
12
were installed at the time of reburial, which allowed for water samples to be
collected and analysed ex situ for dissolved oxygen, pH and the presence of other
chemicals such as nitrogen, iron and phosphates (Stewart, Murdock & Waddell
1995, pp. 798-799). Measurements of dissolved oxygen taken in 1986, one year
after the reburial, showed that the mound had become suboxic (Stewart, Murdock
& Waddell 1995, p. 798). Sacrificial wood samples were placed throughout the
burial mound while control samples were kept in the laboratory (Stewart,
Murdock & Waddell 1995, p. 798). Relative density and percentage loss of wood
substance were measured in 1992. The extent of deterioration of timber samples
after seven years was negligible (Stewart, Murdock & Waddell 1995, pp. 800801). Cook (2005, p. 165) mentions that the site is monitored every five years and
that analysis is being conducted by Parks Canada conservation scientists.
However, whether this programme remains current and what results are being
obtained is difficult to say. Recent results would be helpful for the study of
reburial as an in situ preservation method. Parks Canada continues to use similar
reburial methods on underwater cultural heritage, such as on the shipwreck
Elizabeth and Mary, in Baie-Trinité, Quebec (Bernier 2006, p. 64).
HMS Pandora was also reburied, using backfill (Gesner 1993, p. 10; Gesner
1990, p. 41). This process was carried out both during the excavation season,
where portions of the vessel were exposed more than once, and at the end of the
season to protect exposed portions between excavations (Gesner 1993, p. 9).
While this is not the same type of permanent reburial as the Red Bay example, the
basic idea is similar: to encourage an anoxic reburial environment and to
physically protect the wooden hull from aerobic marine borers and the ravages of
water movement. Questions arose during this process as to whether or not the use
of backfill was detrimental to the long-term survival of the vessel. During the
1993 season, microbiological analyses were conducted in several areas on and
around the wreck in order to collect data about the microbial communities
inhabiting the sediment (Guthrie et al. 1994, p. 19). The inclusion of
microbiologists on the project points to recognition of in situ preservation as being
experimental where scientific data is needed to ascertain whether or not the
reburial environment is conducive to artefact preservation in the long-term.
13
Sandbags are also used to rebury sites. Sandbags have the added advantage of
acting as supportive structures for features and artefacts on site, such as hull
structures (Hosty 1988, p. 14). On William Salthouse in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria,
sandbags were employed to support the collapsing hull structure and aid in
trapping sand after a variety of techniques, such as fencing, mesh sediment traps
and sediment drops were unsuccessful (Hosty 1988, p. 13; Staniforth 2006, p. 54).
While the hull did remain stable with the support from the sand bags (Hosty 1988,
p. 16) and some areas experienced an arrest in scouring (Harvey 1996, p. 3), there
were issues with the technique which the project members noted at the time: the
impermanence of the sandbag solution due to the requirement to use
biodegradable materials, the possibility of strain on other sections of the hull and
the likelihood of secondary, or toe, scour caused by the sandbags themselves
(Harvey 1996, p. 4; Hosty 1988, p. 16). In this instance, the use of sandbags was
intended as an interim solution while more permanent measures were explored
(Harvey 1996, p. 4; Hosty 1988, p. 16). This was also the case on James Matthews
in Fremantle, Western Australia (Godfrey et al. 2005, p. 42).
Sandbags are often considered a cost-efficient way of stabilising and preserving
sites. This method, however, seems to be a temporary measure. It is necessary to
understand fully both the site requirements and the long-term costs of any
necessary replacements in terms of materials, time and personnel (Oxley 1998b,
pp. 166-167). Other projects have utilised sandbags. On a seventeenth-century
wooden vessel at Duart Point in the Sound of Mull, Scotland, they have been
employed to reduce erosion and protect exposed hull structures between survey
seasons (Gregory 1995, p. 64; Martin 1995, p. 19). Martin (1995, p. 30) indicated
that the sandbags protected the site in the short term but that a full rescue
archaeology excavation may be the only way to manage this cultural resource.
Sandbags on the Sydney Cove wreck off Preservation Island, Tasmania, have
assisted in retaining the re-deposited sediment on site in conjunction with
protective netting (Nash 2006, p. 64; Nash 1991, p. 40) and reducing the physical
effects of current on the site (McCarthy 1986, p. 133).
Another method of encouraging sediment deposition that has been successful in
certain situations has been artificial seagrass. Seagrass occurs naturally on many
sites, but once disturbed, is unlikely to re-establish itself (Godfrey et al. 2005, p.
14
51). There has been limited success in some areas, such as the Biscayne National
Park, Florida, with replanting turtle grass (Skowronek et al. 1987, p. 317). The
lack of success in repopulating the seabed with other forms of natural seagrass
necessitated a different approach to protective covering. Mats of artificial
seagrass, created from polymeric materials, can be assembled and positioned on
the seabed (Staniforth 2006, p. 54), acting in a similar manner to natural seagrass,
encouraging sediment deposition. A variety of artificial seagrass constructs were
created by a number of engineering companies in order to counter shoreline
erosion and were quickly applied to offshore structures such as pipelines and oil
platforms (Moran 1997a, p. 133; Pilarczyk 2000, pp. 697-700). The Cegrass
Erosion Control System, by Cebo UK Ltd, was trialed on William Salthouse
(Harvey 1996, p. 4; Oxley 1998b, p. 167; Staniforth 2006, p. 54). The Cegrass
proved successful, with some minor adjustments. Control of scour and increased
sediment deposition was almost immediate (Staniforth 2006, p. 54). By
monitoring the site, personnel were able to note areas of scouring that did occur
and make necessary adjustments, such as adding a new mat and filling in a larger
scour hole with sandbags and sediment (Harvey 1996, p. 7). On William
Salthouse, artificial seagrass was determined to be successful in preserving the
site in situ in the medium term (Harvey 1996, p. 7), though on-site monitoring in
2008 indicated that scouring was occurring again (H. Steyne 2008, pers. comm.,
24 September).
Artificial seagrass does, however, have its disadvantages and challenges. Site
conditions such as seabed slope, speed and direction of current must be
considered. For example, sites with slow current, such as the Legare Anchorage
site in Biscayne National Park, Florida, often have a build up of biological
deposits on the fronds, halting sediment deposition (Skowronek et al. 1987, p.
317). As with sandbagging, a thorough knowledge of the environmental
conditions on site is imperative. Purchasing, transporting and deploying
proprietary artificial seagrass systems is also cost intensive (Harvey 1996, p. 7),
and relies heavily on volunteers. The Western Australian Museum developed a
cost-efficient ―in-house‖ system for use on James Matthews, which was also
easily deployed by two divers (V. Richards 2008, pers. comm., 10 November).
The Cegrass system used on William Salthouse also employed a steel mesh base,
15
the corrosion of which has implications for the microenvironment and may be
detrimental to the reburied artefacts. Artificial seagrass systems used on
archaeological sites would need to be manufactured from materials that would not
have adverse effects on the cultural resource.
Geotextiles have also been used to protect sites and encourage sediment
deposition. Near Zakynthos harbour in Greece, a wreck dating to the fifteenth or
sixteenth century has been protected through the use of Terram 4000, a textile
created from polyethylene and polypropylene (Pournou, Jones & Moss 1999, p.
58). Terram was chosen in this particular project to protect the site between
excavation seasons as reburial would have added an extra burden in terms of
removal time (Pournou, Jones & Moss 1999, p. 58). Prior to being used on the
wreck, different grades of Terram were tested for permeability, resistance to biota
and resilience. Terram 2000 and 4000 were then trialed on site where Terram
4000 was chosen based on positive results of wood and sediment analysis
(Pournou, Jones & Moss 1999, pp. 59-61). On the Zakynthos site, samples were
taken during the monitoring of the site, including wood samples, which were
studied for wood degrading micro-organisms, and sediment cores, which were
analysed for micro-organisms and physico-chemical composition. Redox
potential, pH and dissolved oxygen were also measured (Pournou, Jones & Moss
1999, p. 59). These analyses allowed the use of Terram to be semi-quantitatively
considered in terms of success. The results showed that Terram induced an anoxic
environment, which protected the ship‘s timbers primarily from biological attack,
though chemical deterioration appeared to have slowed also. Another advantage
of the Terram covering proved to be the protection of the timbers from physical
deterioration due to excessive water movement.
In the Netherlands‘ Wadden Sea, a seventeenth-century Vereenigde Oost-Indische
Compagnie (VOC) vessel has been protected by a combination of sandbags and
geotextile netting since the late 1980s (Manders 2006a, p. 70), becoming the
Netherlands‘ first ship protected in situ. Since the original method was employed,
monitoring has shown the sandbags to be redundant. The polypropylene netting
now is used alone. When deployed loosely, the netting moves freely in the water,
capturing sand moving across the site. As with seagrass, the sediment is slowed
until it drops from the water column creating a sediment mound that protects the
16
wreck from marine borers and fishing nets (Manders 2006a, p. 72). This project
also used a data logger to monitor changes in the environment such as pH,
temperature, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. Importantly, samples of wood placed
within aerobic and anaerobic areas of the site allowed for the monitoring of
deterioration rates. Many of the changes to the procedures used on this site have
been as a result of international projects aimed at understanding the scientific
processes of in situ preservation (Manders 2006a, p. 72). As a result of the
successful use of netting, it has been employed on other sites, such as the Sri
Lankan wreck site of Avondster, another VOC vessel (Manders 2006b, p. 58).
Davidde (2002, p. 83) reports that netting, along with sandbagging, is also one of
the most common methods of in situ preservation used in Italy, but notes that
while it is cost effective, it requires replacing as it disintegrates easily.
Cathodic Protection
Cathodic protection is another method of protecting submerged sites, in particular
those with large metal artefacts (Oxley 1998b, p. 165). A sacrificial anode
comprised of a more easily corroding metal, often zinc, magnesium or aluminium,
is placed in electrical contact with the object to be protected. The two form an
electrochemical cell in which the anode, having a higher negative potential,
actively corrodes, in preference to the cathode, which is in turn protected
(MacLeod 1987, p. 51; Oxley 1998b, p. 165). Like artificial seagrass, this method
has been used extensively in a number of other marine capacities, such as in the
protection of working vessels, jetty piles and oil platforms (McCarthy 2000, p.
87). Australia was one of the first countries to actively pursue cathodic protective
methods, with a number of sites currently protected in this fashion. The start of
this type of preservation can be traced back to research carried out by the
conservation team at the Western Australian Maritime Museum. Originally,
MacLeod and North pioneered the use of anodes to stabilise metal objects such as
engines, anchors and cannons prior to retrieval (MacLeod 1996b, p. 1; MacLeod
1993, pp. 223-224; MacLeod 1992, p. 15; MacLeod 1987, pp. 50-51). On the
Sirius site off Norfolk Island, New South Wales, this type of pre-treatment
successfully stabilised an extensively corroded carronade (MacLeod 1992, p. 15).
This demonstrated that the use of sacrificial anodes on sites could not only slow
deterioration and help preserve metal on the seabed, but also reduce conservation
17
treatment times post-excavation. This method does require monitoring as the
anodes have a limited working life and need to be replaced at regular intervals to
ensure continued protection. On the Yongala site, for instance, it was decided that
sacrificial anodes would not be used due to limited time, personnel and financial
factors (Viduka 2006, p. 62).
McCarthy (1987, p. 11) reported that sacrificial anodes on the stern of the Xantho
allowed portions of the wreck to remain in situ for the enjoyment of recreational
divers, although the original intent of the anodes was to prepare the stern for
eventual recovery (McCarthy 2000, p. 145). In the 1990s, sacrificial anodes were
attached to Zanoni and monitoring in 1998 showed that active corrosion of the
iron portions of the vessel had slowed after the attachment of the anodes
(MacLeod 1998, p. 83). However, the advanced state of deterioration of Zanoni
meant that it was still very fragile and could be easily disturbed by natural or
human impact (MacLeod 1998, p. 83). Another wreck that has been protected by
anodes is the Duart Point wreck in Scotland (Gregory 1999, p. 164) mentioned
previously. Florida has also used anodes to protect anchors on underwater
preserves created by the state (D. Scott-Ireton 2008, pers. comm., 22 September).
Chemical Methods
Oxley (1998b, p. 167) also mentions the use of chemical coatings to preserve
materials such as the wooden frames of vessels. In the 1970s, tributyltin oxide
was used on the wreck of the Rapid. While it appeared that the extent of
biological activity decreased due to the toxicity of TBTO, this method is no longer
used. Most nations, including Australia, New Zealand (Australian and New
Zealand Environment and Conservation Council 2000) and Canada (Department
of Justice 1985; Environment Canada 1999), have since developed extensive laws
pertaining to the use of chemicals in the oceans and rivers, especially those known
to be toxic to marine life and humans. This is also an issue when dealing with
barrier methods that employ plastics or polymers treated with chemical
preservatives (Hosty 1988, p. 14; Pournou, Jones & Moss 1999, p. 58). Due to the
environmental restrictions and health hazards, the use of chemicals is not seen as a
viable option for in situ preservation.
18
Discussion
Searching the literature reveals that there are many projects worldwide that
employ various methods or combinations of methods for in situ preservation.
Some have met with considerably more success than others. Often these methods
are in response to some type of emergency, such as impact on the site by
recreational divers. This tends to lend an appearance of a ―trial and error‖
approach to preserving sites (Hosty 1988, p. 13; Moran 1997b, p. 129). As
Godfrey et al. (2005, p. 40) and Oxley (1998a p. 117; 1998b, p. 170) suggest a
more in-depth and complete assessment of both sites and methods is required to
ensure that in situ preservation techniques are more successful in the future. As
was seen with William Salthouse, a number of techniques were employed before a
solution was found (Harvey 1996, p. 1). An important element of this project,
however, was the initial recognition about the limitations of at least one of the
chosen techniques (sandbagging) and the understanding that this technique was
employed temporarily to enable further research into a more permanent method.
One area in particular that should be more closely examined before any in situ
method is employed is the environment of the site itself. In order to make the best
decision for the site, a full survey focusing on environmental and conservation
factors should be undertaken (Godfrey et al. 2005, p. 40; Oxley 1998b, p. 170).
The type of sediment, the amount of dissolved oxygen, the strength and direction
of currents and the overall deterioration of the site are some of the many things
that are important in order to understand what techniques will be most successful.
Unfortunately, these surveys are rarely mentioned in the literature. This makes it
difficult to gauge how extensively or regularly these surveys are carried out.
Godfrey et al. (2005, p. 40) provided an in-depth conservation survey of the
James Matthews site, exploring each group of artefacts in terms of degradation.
This represents the type of intensive survey that is required in order to make the
best decision for every site. Some environmental sampling was undertaken on
Pandora (Guthrie et al. 1994, p. 19), but only after backfilling had taken place on
the site and focused mainly on the microbial communities in the sediment without
any sampling of the timbers themselves.
19
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of the techniques is also a major
element of employing in situ preservation. This will require further
experimentation, such as those underway in the projects to be discussed in
Chapter Three. The results should outline not only cost-effective strategies but
also which methods are appropriate for different environments. As Oxley (1998b,
p. 170) points out, continuing to liaise with other industries such as oil and gas
will be beneficial, especially in a discipline that does not generate cash flow
easily. It is also important to develop strong links with other disciplines involved
in similar research in the scientific community, such as wood science,
microbiology, chemistry and oceanography. These groups are, as a whole, more
likely to raise the necessary funds for both short- and long-term experiments.
Another shortcoming noted in the literature is the lack of continued monitoring
and publication of results. The Parks Canada Red Bay project has already been
noted as one such project, which in many ways was meant to showcase a
continued monitoring programme intended to add quantitative data to the
understanding of the in situ process (Cook 2005, p. 165). Lack of funding is likely
the most significant factor behind the absence of regular monitoring programmes.
There remains the possibility that integral data that may have had significant
influences on current and future archaeological projects and indeed any purely
scientific research is unavailable. Many of the projects discussed above have not
continued to publish the successes or failures of in situ methods utilised. The
Pandora project, for instance, has had no updates published since 1994. A small
number of projects, such as James Matthews, have continued to publish results
about preservation work. The Western Australian Museum, while admitting to
being hindered by time, personnel and funding restraints (V. Richards 2008, pers.
comm., 21 April), has been vigilant in ensuring that their work is reported, often
using conferences as a medium. This could be in part due to the structure of the
museum, which includes conservation scientists.
Oxley (1998a) produced a thesis entitled ‗The Environment of Historic Shipwreck
Sites: A Review of the Preservation of Materials, Site Formation and Site
Environmental Assessment‘, which contained a chapter which reviewed in situ
methods and techniques. In his discussion of the literature, he noted the need for
‗quantified assessment of the stability of…sites, followed by the design and
20
implementation of suitable mitigation strategies‘ (Oxley 1998a, p. 116). He
stressed the need for further research into effective methods and the need for full
monitoring and assessment of environmental conditions on sites. Ten years later it
is difficult to assess from a review of the archaeological literature how much has
changed in terms of collecting information on site that can inform choices for
preservation. At present, the gaps in the literature may point to a lack of
understanding of the importance of in situ data or the inability to publish results. It
could also be indicative of the ‗dichotomy between conservators and
archaeologists when dealing with the same materials‘ (McCarthy 1987, p. 9),
which can hinder progress. If archaeologists are not yet convinced that in situ
methods have merit or can be conveniently implemented, the research discussed
in the following chapters has the ability to provide some answers to assist
archaeologists and cultural heritage managers in tandem with conservators to
make the necessary decisions for the successful management of underwater
cultural heritage.
21
Chapter 3: In Situ Preservation and Scientific
Experimentation
Exploring the Science
Since Oxley‘s 1998 Master‘s thesis, which in part explored in situ preservation
practices, perhaps the biggest change has been the advances made in the scientific
exploration of methods. Over the last ten years, a concerted effort has been made
to investigate many of the preconceptions held by archaeologists and conservators
alike about how archaeological remains are preserved in situ. These investigations
vary from relatively small laboratory studies to large multi-year projects in the
field. Many of the personnel involved in these projects are often not
archaeologists, but come from a wide range of fields, such as microbiology,
geology, chemistry, biology and oceanography. This has brought to the table a
vast array of techniques that have provided greater in-depth knowledge of the
archaeological materials, the environment and their interaction in situ. This, in
turn, has led to some interesting developments in understanding in situ
preservation of underwater cultural heritage. Some of the projects underway have
been designed to provide large amounts of data for many years to come.
One of the main criticisms by many of those who work with underwater cultural
heritage has been the lack of scientific data that proves in situ preservation
methods do protect these delicate archaeological remains (Bergstrand & Nyström
Godfrey 2007, p. 10; Godfrey et al. 2005, p. 40; Manders 2004b, p. 279; Oxley
1998a, p. 90; Oxley 1998b, pp. 159-160; Winton & Richards 2005, p. 77). Parks
Canada‘s work at Red Bay was intended to provide scientific data about in situ
methods. Early publications provided exceptional records of the methodology of a
project unique in its scope. Stewart, Murdock and Waddell (1995) and Waddell
(1994) presented some information of the sampling methods and the analytical
techniques employed in the project, but since 1995 no new analyses have
appeared. It may be assumed that one reason for this is that little or no funding has
been provided to Parks Canada for continued monitoring. Nevertheless, over the
last decade, a number of projects specifically intended to provide results
demonstrating the effects of the environment on archaeological materials have
22
either been completed or are underway. A number of these projects will be
discussed in detail in this chapter.
Laboratory Experiments Focusing on Organic Material
Most laboratory experiments exploring in situ preservation have focused on the
mechanisms of wood degradation (Björdal, Daniel & Nilsson 2000; Björdal &
Nilsson 1999; Björdal, Nilsson & Daniel 1999; Nilsson 1999). In Björdal and
Nilsson (1999), pine sapwood samples were buried in three different sediment
types in order to determine which was more likely to cause the least amount of
decay. Wet sand, clay and topsoil were used and samples were recovered after
three, six and nine months. Topsoil was determined to be the least preserving,
while clay and wet sand proved to have higher preservation qualities. This
experiment also showed that covering the sediments with either sawdust or
geotextile heightened the soils‘ protective qualities by inducing an anoxic state.
While the authors focused on the effects of sediment type, microbes, moisture
content and dissolved oxygen levels, they noted that pH, depth of burial and
hydrological movement would also have direct bearing on the preservation
qualities of sediments (Björdal & Nilsson 1999, p. 75).
Following on from this work, Björdal, Daniel and Nilsson (2000) investigated
how burial depth affected the microbial decay of archaeological wood. Two poles
dating from the Viking period were excavated from clay sediment under five
metres of brackish water. Samples were taken from close to the top of both poles
and from 40 centimetres below the top sample. These samples were examined
using microscopic techniques, maximum water content and ease of penetration
with a strong needle. Differences in decay between poles were noted to be most
likely related to differing wood species (Björdal, Daniel & Nilsson 2000, p. 22).
The study determined that depth of burial did have an effect on preservation, with
the lower portions of wood showing better preservation than those located higher
in the sediment (Björdal, Daniel & Nilsson 2000, p. 25). A significant finding in
this study was the presence of active erosion bacteria in the inner portions of the
wood tissue, which were affected by even minimal variations in oxygen levels.
This seems to point to the importance of slow decay from anaerobic erosion
bacteria and the depth of burial for archaeological materials (Björdal, Daniel &
Nilsson 2000, pp. 24-25).
23
As erosion bacteria are accepted as the main causes of degradation in waterlogged
wood under anaerobic conditions, identification of these microbial species has
become important. Several experiments have attempted to address this issue
(Helms 2005; Helms et al. 2004; Nilsson & Björdal 2008a; Nilsson & Björdal
2008b; Nilsson, Björdal & Fällman 2008). Due to the inability at this juncture to
isolate the specific bacteria involved, the classification of ―erosion bacteria‖ is
based on the way in which the bacteria attack the wood (Nilsson 1999, p. 65).
Using samples from a 1700-year-old spear shaft excavated from Nydam Mose, a
team in Denmark cultured bacteria from the interior of the spear under anaerobic
conditions (Helms et al. 2004, p. 79). The culture media was supplemented with
cellulose degradation products. Chloroform extraction and polymerase chain
reaction (PCR) amplification was used to amplify and clone 16S rRNA genes
(Helms et al. 2004, p. 81). From the clone library, a number of 16S rRNA genes
were sequenced and analysed. Results showed that a wide range of anaerobic
bacteria or bacteria that prefer anaerobic environments were present in the
archaeological wood and were able to be related to bacteria known to consume
cellulose (Helms et al. 2004, p. 87). Helms (2005) has continued to work on this
matter through a PhD dissertation with the intent to provide standardised methods
of extracting and analysing bacterial DNA in archaeological wood. This work has
noted it will be necessary to identify and isolate those bacterial species that
degrade cellulose from those which degrade wood (Helms 2005, p. 125).
Field Experiments Focusing on Organic Materials
Experimental studies have also taken place in the field. Some have been
characterised as short-term studies while others, discussed later in this chapter,
have been extensive and long-term. One such short-term experiment was
conducted at Lynæs Sands in Denmark (Gregory 1999b; Gregory 1998). The area
was chosen due to ease of access and the fact that the sandy sediment had yielded
good preservation results previously (Gregory 1999b, p. 78). Dissolved oxygen
contents, pH, redox potentials, ammonium and nitrate concentrations were
measured (Gregory 1998, p. 346). Sapwood oak samples were used in the
experiment and placed at three different depth intervals: one exposed to seawater,
one buried just below the sediment surface and one buried 50 centimetres below
the sediment surface (Gregory 1998, pp. 346-347). Using six sets of wood blocks
24
allowed for samples to be retrieved at four, eight, twelve, sixteen, thirty-two and
fifty-two weeks. Results showed that wood borers and soft rot extensively
attacked samples exposed to seawater, while those samples buried in sediment
escaped this degradation. Those buried just below the surface showed evidence of
both marine fungal and bacterial attack, especially tunnelling bacteria, though
erosion bacteria may have been present (Gregory 1998, p. 350). Those buried at
50 centimetres showed only minimal attack by erosion bacteria. This led Gregory
(1999b, p. 82; 1998, p. 356) to conclude that shallow burial will protect wood
from marine borers but not from fungal and aerobic bacterial attack. From this, a
recommendation was put forth that archaeological wood be buried below 50
centimetres where only the slow action of erosion bacteria will occur. It should
also be noted that there remains questions as to the effects reburial has on already
deteriorated archaeological wood (Gregory 1999b, p. 82).
Investigations into the effects of the burial environment on archaeological timber
also took place at the Mary Rose site in the 1990s through the analysis of
sediment cores (Pointing, Jones & Jones 1997, p. 73). Cores of up to 50
centimetres in length were collected at a number of different levels in the
sediment to ascertain possible differences between recent surface sediment at the
edge of the site and the redeposited and undisturbed Tudor sediments on the site.
The cores were examined for physical, chemical and biological composition.
Results from the redeposited sediment sample showed elevated levels of sulphurreducing bacteria in comparison to the redeposited and undisturbed Tudor
samples. This may reflect disturbance during excavation, which may increase
microbiological activity (Pointing, Jones & Jones 1997, p. 82). There is a
possibility that microflora surviving on archaeological timbers may affect reburial
schemes and should be investigated (Pointing, Jones & Jones 1997, p. 84).
Pointing, Jones and Jones (Pointing, Jones & Jones 1997, pp. 83 & 85) suggest
that reburial be viewed as a long-term storage solution due to the time and
personnel required and that reburial on the Mary Rose site in particular avoids
burying archaeological timbers on site as remaining artefacts may be
compromised.
25
Experiments Focusing on Metals
As noted in Chapter Two, in situ preservation experiments on metals appear to
have started in Australia in the 1980s as a method to assist with conventional
conservation by pre-treating metal artefacts while on site (MacLeod 2002, pp.
710-712; MacLeod 1996a, p. 111; MacLeod 1993, pp. 223-224). On the HMS
Sirius site when an area of concretion was knocked off an anchor, the corrosion
rate increased significantly and the area began to flash rust. The application of a
sacrificial anode in the form of an aluminium-magnesium engine block helped to
stabilise the scar (MacLeod 1993, p. 224). After the anchor was raised for
conservation treatment, it was noted that the metal under the concretion had been
better protected and that the chloride content of the metal was lower than expected
(MacLeod 1996a, pp. 111-112).
This led to the installation of sacrificial anodes as a protective measure on a
number of Australian wrecks (MacLeod 1998b, p. 81; MacLeod 1993, p. 221).
MacLeod also recommended that sacrificial anodes be used on large iron artefacts
on the Duart Point site in Scotland. In 1997, corrosion potentials and pH were remeasured on the artefacts in order to assess the success of the applied cathodic
protection system through comparison with the same measurements taken in 1994
(Gregory 1999a, pp. 165-166). The results showed that the anodes were successful
in slowing the corrosion rates. One of the issues reported when performing
corrosion measurements on metal wrecks and artefacts is that the technique itself
is destructive (Heldtberg, MacLeod & Richards 2005, p. 80; MacLeod 2002, p.
709). Laboratory studies on iron were conducted at the Western Australian
Maritime Museum in conjunction with in situ experiments on James Matthews
(Heldtberg, MacLeod & Richards 2005, p. 75). Data from both sets of samples
were compared and correlations calculated. These experiments have shown that
reducing chloride levels in iron artefacts is an integral part of the stabilisation
process (Heldtberg, MacLeod & Richards 2005, p. 83).
Similar research has also been carried out on more modern steel wrecks; work on
the WWII USS Arizona has trialed the use of a minimal impact method to directly
measure corrosion rates. Complicating this work is the wreck‘s stature as a
memorial, forcing archaeologists and chemists to focus on non-destructive
techniques (Henderson 1989; Russell et al. 2006, p. 312). Due to the mechanisms
26
involved in corroding low-carbon steel, methods trialed on iron wrecks were not
feasible (Russell et al. 2006, p. 312). While some technological methods such as
Ultrasound have been investigated, analysis of the chemical and physical
properties of the hull concretion seems at present to be the best practice (Russell
et al. 2006, p. 315). Work on this site will have direct application to other steelhulled wrecks dating to the twentieth century (Russell et al. 2006, p. 318).
As twentieth-century wrecks stand to become increasingly important with the
passing of time, it is worth discussing a study conducted on decommissioned
naval vessels sunk as artificial reefs between 1997 and 2002. Investigations on
these vessels looked at the interactions between the different metals and the
marine environment. Results after four years showed that corrosion had indeed
begun albeit at a relatively slow rate (MacLeod et al. 2005, p. 72). While the focus
of this monitoring is to assess the impact of the vessels on the local environment
and provide information as to their longevity as diving tourist attractions, there are
obvious archaeological implications. The ability to monitor the deterioration of a
vessel from the wrecking event, through its many complex stages, will no doubt
provide useful data for developing in situ preservation strategies (MacLeod et al.
2005, p. 53).
Research into Archaeological Environments and Sampling Methods
A large body of literature exists within natural science disciplines which explores
what parameters are important to sample and monitor in the marine environment
and the various methods that have been developed for both waterlogged terrestrial
and underwater sediments. This literature is beyond the scope of this thesis.
However, by building upon previously recognised and tested procedures
developed in these other disciplines, the archaeological environment has been
explored in terms of its biology and chemistry (Caple 1998; Caple, Dungworth &
Clogg 1997; Hopkins 1998; Pollard 1998). Understanding the complex
interactions taking place in sediments is an important aspect that will dictate the
success of reburying archaeological remains, especially in waterlogged
environments as water and dissolved oxygen play important roles in much of the
chemistry and biology (Caple, Dungworth & Clogg 1997, p. 57; Holden et al.
2006, p. 59; Hopkins 1998, p. 73; Pollard 1998, p. 60). Areas where continued
research is necessary include the effects of fluctuations in the moisture content of
27
sediments; redox conditions in sediments, salt and fresh waters; speciation of
metal ions; pH of sediments and solutions; and the effects of temperature change
and salinity (Caple 1998, p. 113; Holden et al. 2006, p. 59; Pollard 1998, p. 60).
Sampling methods and analytical techniques continue to be tested and revised,
allowing for more accurate measurements and an increase in the amount of
applicable data. Data loggers, while still developmental in some aspects, can be
deployed on terrestrial and submerged sites in conjunction with dipwells to collect
data, such as temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen contents and redox potentials
(Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, 26-27; Gregory 2007, p. 5-8; Palma 2004,
p. 10; Palma, Gregory & Jones 2005, p. 680). Redox potentials, dissolved oxygen
and pH have been measured in the laboratory with microelectrodes from sediment
core samples (Gregory 2007, p. 8). Other parameters measured ex situ using wet
chemical methods include ion, mineral and organic content. The results gathered
from the datalogger were not completely dependable or accurate, but Gregory
(2007, p. 29) notes that improvements will no doubt continue to be made.
Large Scale Projects
For the purposes of categorisation, projects denoted as ―large scale‖ are those
projects that, rather than focusing on one material, method or sampling procedure,
opt instead for a more holistic approach. This allows for the investigation of many
aspects of in situ preservation in one project over an extended period of time. The
projects discussed here do not necessarily take place on an archaeological site,
though some do. In most cases, combinations of modern and archaeological
materials are examined and differences in environments may be explored. Again,
an important characteristic of these projects is the interdisciplinary approach.
James Matthews
The work on James Matthews is, perhaps, one of the more difficult to categorise.
On the one hand, it should fall under the category of archaeological projects and,
in this capacity, was discussed in Chapter Two. However, it is also in many ways
more characteristic of the other larger projects discussed here in that one of the
main goals, beyond preserving underwater cultural heritage, is to ―[u]nderstand[ ]
the deterioration processes and the environmental effects on a site‖ (Godfrey et al.
2005, p. 40). The conservation survey and monitoring programme instigated on
28
this site was comprehensive, investigating all aspects of the wreck and its
environment in order to assess current reburial schemes and to make informed
suggestions about necessary changes and updates.
The history of the project provided by Godfrey et al. (2005, pp. 41-43)
demonstrates developing thought patterns about in situ preservation. Reburial
during the 1970s excavations was not monitored. Work undertaken during 2000
and 2001 included on-site sampling and the introduction of conservation
monitoring programmes (Godfrey et al. 2005, p. 43). At that juncture, test pits
were dug to ascertain both the deterioration of the ship‘s timbers as well as
measure a number of environmental parameters at various depths. Analyses of
these samples allowed personnel to understand the nature of the site and the
impact the environment had on the preservation of the vessel. The implementation
of such programmes provides the knowledge to make informed decisions about
the types of protection possible for the site in the future. In this case, it was
decided that the best possible scenario for the in-situ preservation of James
Matthews was to encourage sediment deposition and retention (Godfrey et al.
2005, p. 64).
As will no doubt continue to be the case in developing in situ preservation plans
for underwater cultural heritage, temporary measures were taken in the form of
sandbags and shade cloth in order to permit a more permanent solution to be
found while continuing to protect the resource (Godfrey et al. 2005, p. 64; Winton
& Richards 2005, p. 79). Suggestions for the future have included placing plastic
―crash barriers‖, used on roads, around the site as a cofferdam, with sand
deposited inside to the required depth and protected with a geotextile such as the
Terram 4000, previously trialed in Greece (Pournou, Jones & Moss 1999, p. 58).
Trials of the crash barrier method commenced on a different site in 2003 (Godfrey
et al. 2005, p. 65). With some modifications, such as ensuring the walls were
rendered solid and preventing the sediment from escaping through small gaps in
the walls, the road crash barrier technique appeared successful (Winton &
Richards 2005, pp. 86-87) and may well be a solution for preserving James
Matthews.
29
An integral part of this project has been the recognition of the importance of a
continued monitoring programme, both in order to provide the best method of
protection and to ensure the continued success of that chosen mitigation strategy
(Godfrey et al. 2005, p. 65; Manders 2004a, p. 75). Continuity with the 2000 onsite conservation study has been built into the programme and specific timing for
sampling has been developed. The inclusion of sacrificial samples to determine
rates of deterioration will aid in understanding the site dynamics and deciding the
success of the chosen programme (Godfrey et al. 2005, p. 67).
Nydam Mose
In situ preservation projects for underwater cultural heritage have been supported
by research conducted on waterlogged terrestrial sites. Experiments at Nydam
Mose, an Iron Age sacrificial lake in Denmark, have focused on environmental
sampling methods and the deterioration of materials, particularly wooden
artefacts, in waterlogged environments (Gregory, Matthiesen & Björdal 2002;
Matthiesen et al. 2004). While sampling techniques used in terrestrial
circumstances may not, in some cases, be directly applied to underwater sites, the
types of sampling executed, possible means of contamination and the analyses
conducted are pertinent to environmental sampling undertaken on submerged
resources. Comparing results of environmental analyses from Nydam Mose with
submerged data sets may help to elucidate the mechanisms of deterioration in
waterlogged sediments.
Also underway at Nydam Mose is the degradation study of archaeological and
modern materials (Gregory, Matthiesen & Björdal 2002, p. 213; Matthiesen et al.
2004, p. 57). This methodology is similar to other investigations underway in
Northern Europe (Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007; Bergstrand et al. 2005;
Cederlund 2004; Manders 2004b), which will enable the results of each project to
be compared and possible hypotheses drawn about the effects of environmental
parameters on the deterioration of archaeological materials. Again, an important
part of these projects is the collaboration between members of several disciplines.
BACPOLES
―Preserving cultural heritage by preventing bacterial decay of wood in foundation
piles and archaeological sites‖ (BACPOLES) is another project, sponsored by the
30
European Union, which explores deterioration in archaeological wood. This
project has both wet and dry terrestrial and submerged components and focuses on
bacteria found in anaerobic environments responsible for the slow deterioration of
wood (Manders 2004b, pp. 285-287). As previously noted, the specific bacteria
responsible for this decay have yet to be isolated or identified (Manders 2004b, p.
285; Helms 2005, p. 119; Helms et al. 2004, p. 79). Nevertheless, BACPOLES
has made significant headway in investigating this issue, trialing new isolation
techniques such as the use of purified active consortia (Nilsson & Björdal 2008a,
p. 3). It is hoped that using live bacteria will facilitate identification (Nilsson &
Björdal 2008a, p. 8). Among the maritime sites were the wrecks Stora Sophia and
Kronan in Sweden and four wrecks in the Netherlands, including what is possibly
the VOC ship de Rob in the Wadden Sea (BACPOLES, n.d.). Huisman et al.
(2008, pp. 41-43) have reported possible correlations between erosion bacteria
and the redox conditions inside archaeological wood. This may contribute to the
elevated sulphur content in wood that appears to be a factor in causing postconservation problems with the recovered vessels, such as Vasa and Batavia.
MoSS
―Monitoring, Safeguarding and Visualising North-European Shipwreck Sites‖
(MoSS) was a second European Union project that focused on the protection of
cultural heritage. Unlike BACPOLES, this project centred around submerged
heritage. Aimed at understanding the processes of degradation on shipwrecks, it
also incorporated an important issue in cultural heritage management: public
awareness as a method of preserving shipwrecks (Manders 2004b, p. 280;
Manders & Luth 2004, p. 63). Another important aspect of this project was its
intention to investigate a number of different environments in order to create a
practice that could be applicable in a number of circumstances (Alvik & Tikkanen
2004, p. 3). Several countries were involved in this project, including Sweden,
Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. Three shipwrecks underwent scientific
sampling and monitoring with data loggers: Vrouw Maria in Finland, the Darss
Cog in Germany and Burgzand Noord 10 in the Netherlands. The wreck of Eric
Nordevall, in Sweden, was only monitored visually. The dataloggers collected
information on currents, salinity, dissolved oxygen, redox potentials, pH,
31
temperature, conductivity and turbidity (Alvik & Tikkanen 2004, p. 6; Gregory
2004, p. 38).
Monitoring of the deterioration rate of wood was also employed at each site with
samples of modern wood being prepared and placed in both aerobic and anaerobic
environments (Palma 2004, p. 10). Samples were collected at specified times and
underwent a battery of tests, including photography, x-ray, scanning electron
microscopy (SEM) and light stereo microscopy (Palma 2004, p. 11). These tests
allowed the samples to be analysed for a number of determinants of degradation
such as biological attack, moisture content and density (Palma 2004, p. 12). This
project not only provided information about the natural environment extant on a
wreck site, aerobic and anaerobic, but was also able to evaluate the use of
sediment trapping by debris netting on the Darss Cog and the Burgzand Noord 10
as an in situ preservation method. This in turn was contrasted with the wrecks of
the Vrouw Maria and Eric Nordevall, neither of which could be protected in this
manner (Manders & Luth 2004, p. 67-68).
RAAR
―Reburial and Analyses of Archaeological Remains‖ (RAAR) is a study taking
place in Marstrand, Sweden, designed to span 50 years in order to explore the
long-term outcomes of reburial on archaeological materials. Separated into subprojects, RAAR examines the degradation of materials commonly found on
archaeological sites (Bergstrand et al. 2005, p. 20). During excavations of the
eighteenth century vessel Fredricus, reburial was designated as the preservation
method of choice. Two trenches were dug ―in close proximity to the excavation
site; [sic] one for metals only (predominantly iron) and one for all other materials‖
(Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, p. 13). After documentation, 85% of the
finds would be reburied, with the remaining 15% undergoing conventional
conservation (Bergstrand et al. 2005, p. 11). RAAR placed mostly modern
experimental samples in the unused portions of these trenches, including wood
and metal samples at various levels above and below the sediment (Bergstrand &
Nyström Godfrey 2007, p. 20). Over the next 48 years, at pre-determined times,
samples will be removed and analysed. Phase one covered the three-year period
between 2002 and 2005. Even within this short time period, analyses of the
recovered samples have produced some surprising results.
32
Appendix One of the major report addresses the environmental monitoring subproject which is significant as it not only assesses the environmental parameters
on the reburial site, but trials methodology in order to improve data collection
(Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, p. 18; Gregory 2007, p. 4). In tandem with
material sampling, numerous environmental parameters were sampled seasonally
both in situ, by means of an EauxSys UK data logger, and ex situ, from sediment
cores analysed in the laboratory with several different microelectrodes (Gregory
2007, p. 5). The data logger has provided useful information about seasonal
changes, though the sensors have proved to be unreliable and maintenance of the
unit expensive in terms of time and money (Gregory 2007, p. 25). The sediment
cores were on the whole successful, though Gregory (2007, p. 25) notes core
samples extending deeper than 50 centimetres are required for analysis in the
future. Modelling based on the measurements taken in the organic trench has
predicted a very slow rate of deterioration due to the relatively rapid establishment
of an anoxic environment (Gregory 2007, p. 29).
The metals sub-project aims at assessing the corrosion of metals buried in marine
environments, an area which has been subject to few such investigations
(Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, pp. 10 & 16). The metal samples used
were modern ferrous and cupric alloys of known composition, mounted and
reburied separately to offset the galvanic effect of different metals on one another.
Three sets of coupons were used per metal type in order to study the consequences
of different depths on the corrosion of the coupons (Richards & MacLeod 2007, p.
1). The results of the metal analyses, covering two years rather than three, have
proved interesting. Results have suggested the use of packaging materials will be
of significant importance in preserving metals through reburial by ensuring
physical separation of objects as well as providing protection from abrasion
(Richards & MacLeod 2007, p. 81). These preliminary results also show that the
previously held conception of reburial at 50 centimetres may not be suitable for
metals, and burial depths greater than 50cm may be required for good long-term
preservation, especially for ferrous alloys (Richards & MacLeod 2007, p. 82).
However, Richards and MacLeod (2007, p. 82) suggest the continuation of this
project and further research as the results are so far inconclusive.
33
The sub-project examining the reburial of glass and ceramics has also produced
some unexpected results in the first three years. Archaeological and modern
samples were used in this experiment and packaging was included (Bohm et al.
2007, p. 4). All samples were placed at a depth of 50 centimetres. Results have
shown that the inclusion of modern samples has been invaluable as archaeological
samples have been difficult to assess except by comparison (Bohm et al. 2007, p.
24). Based on the results, Bohm et al. (2007, p. 25) recommend that glass and
low-fired ceramics should not be reburied and again the continuation of the
investigation is urged in order to assess long-term effects of chemical and physical
degradation on glazing and high-fired ceramics.
While the degradation of wood during reburial has been investigated more often
than other materials in the past, the long-term aspect of RAAR provides new
testing grounds. Using several species, modern samples were exposed to the
seawater environment, buried just below the sediment and at 50cm below the
sediment surface. Samples were collected on four occasions within the three-year
period (Björdal & Nilsson 2007, p. 2). Using light microscopy, microbial decay
was assessed and comparisons were made to time and depth of burial (Björdal &
Nilsson 2007, pp. 3-4). There appears to be an inverse correlation between depth
of burial and decay over time. The deeper the wood is buried, the slower the decay
processes. Conversely, wood samples left on the surface of the seabed
experienced a much quicker and intense process of decay (Björdal & Nilsson
2007, p. 4). This has led to the confirmation of the minimum 50 cm burial depth,
with the caveat that further investigation explores reburial below 50 cm in order to
define optimal depths (Björdal & Nilsson 2007, p. 5). Suggestions for the future
include the continuation of this project at a more detailed level in order to model
decay over time (Björdal & Nilsson 2007, p. 5).
The fifth sub-project focuses on organic materials other than wood. Fifteen
samples of a variety of organics were prepared, with two samples for each
retrieval period; one sample remained uncovered while the second was covered
with nylon-mesh and geotextile (Peacock 2007, pp. 5-6). Results from the first
phase have led to recommendations against the reburial of fibrous organics, such
as tarred cotton fishing net, hemp rope and linen (Peacock 2007, p. 25), while
further research is needed to assess the long term survival of leather, bone, antler
34
and horn (Peacock 2007, p. 29). The nylon-mesh and geotextile did hinder
degradation, but only while they remained impermeable (Peacock 2007, p. 29). As
with most of the materials, increasing the depth of burial led to a decrease in
deterioration (Turner-Walker 2007, p. 62).
In situ storage containers, packaging and labelling materials have been included as
the sixth sub-project, allowing scientists to test how these materials degrade in the
reburial environment and the impact this may have on the storage regime used for
archaeological materials in-situ (Bergstrand et al. 2005, p. 39; Nyström Godfrey et
al. 2007, p. 4). Many different types of containers, separating and supporting
materials, tags and marking implements, made from a variety of materials, mainly
polymers, were investigated (Nyström Godfrey et al. 2007, p. 4). The materials
were subjected to three different environments: exposed in seawater, buried in
sediment at 50 centimetres and controlled laboratory conditions with accelerated
aging experiments. The materials were then examined for chemical and
microbiological degradation as well as tested for loss of strength. Some problems
were highlighted, including the differences in products made from the same base
material that make it difficult to draw conclusions that apply across the board
(Nyström Godfrey et al. 2007, p. 43). Again, the team recommends further
research.
Discussion
As the literature review demonstrates, efforts are being made through laboratory
and field projects to increase understandings about the processes active in in situ
preservation and storage. The development of projects such as RAAR and work
on archaeological sites like James Matthews have begun to provide much needed
information. Certainly, gaps do exist in the knowledge base. Some have been
addressed in project methodologies while others have not.
One important issue continues to be the lack of knowledge about the long-term
effects of in situ preservation. At present, no project has yet been underway long
enough to collect this range of data. RAAR does, without doubt, stand to provide
some of this information. Artificial aging has been used in conjunction with this
project on packaging materials in an attempt to hypothesise about future reactions
(Nyström Godfrey et al. 2007, pp. 43-44). Both the wood and environmental
35
monitoring sub-projects have used results to attempt predictions of potential
deterioration (Björdal & Nilsson 2007, p. 5; Gregory 2007, p. 28). The continued
sampling programme stands to provide data that will refine these speculations,
subject to receipt of funding. At present, the Phase 2 sampling scheduled for 2007
has yet to take place as funding was not secured (V. Richards 2008, pers. comm.,
11 November).
One problem embedded within the RAAR programme as well as others that have
used modern samples is that the data collected, while providing a snapshot of the
beginnings of deterioration processes, fail to address possible issues faced when
reburying archaeological materials. Guthrie et al. (1994, pp. 22-23) noted that
sampling done on Pandora showed increased bacterial activity in the backfilled
areas, but were unable to determine whether or not it was as a result of the
excavation or a phenomenon already underway. It is imperative that future studies
investigate what effects reburial has on previously buried archaeological remains
as well as modern materials. RAAR contains aspects of this in its methodology, in
particular the use of archaeological silicates, glass and ceramics alongside modern
samples; the ability to access both archaeological wood and metal in the Fredricus
deposit also opens avenues in this direction.
Understanding the microbial community within anaerobic sediment will also
provide better understanding of the degradation process, especially for organic
materials. However, certain flaws have been pointed out in regards to work by
Helms et al. (2004) on anaerobic wood degraders (A. Ortmann 2008, pers. comm.,
14 September). Anaerobic cellulose degraders were specifically selected; while
these may indeed be the source of the degradation, it is possible that they are not.
The authors do admit this possibility. What is unfortunately not mentioned is that
they cannot guarantee, even with careful extraction, the bacteria existed inside the
wood at the time of recovery. Multiple avenues for contamination existed prior to
extraction, such as the method used to pack and store the wood after recovery.
This means that the sample was not kept in strictly anaerobic conditions and the
use of tap water could have flushed out bacterial communities or introduced new
ones. Sampling methods need to be developed specifically for the study of
anaerobic bacteria by ensuring retrieval, storage and processing is strictly
anaerobic. Nilsson and Björdal (2008a, p. 3) trialed isolation and culturing
36
methods on samples from the BACPOLES project which were received and
processed in a matter of days, lowering the potential for contamination.
In general, a strong programme has begun which addresses many of the concerns
noted by archaeologists and cultural heritage managers in the literature. Persisting
with this interdisciplinary tack should continue to provide substantial amounts of
pertinent data that will allow cultural heritage management plans to be formulated
with the needs of the individual site in mind. A holistic approach such as this can
only improve relations between those who excavate and those who conserve.
37
Chapter 4: Questionnaires and Attitudes
Developing the Questionnaire
The people involved in the practice of in situ preservation and storage are, as
noted in the preceding literature review, a varied group with a diverse knowledge
base. They work in countries around the world in a number of different areas,
such as government heritage agencies, public and private museums, university
departments, not-for-profit agencies and consulting firms. As a result, the
questionnaire had to be developed in such a way as to be understood by this
group, not just in terms of possible language barriers, but also in terms of
inclusive definitions.
Preliminary research identified two main theoretical areas to pursue in terms of
survey design: attitudes and behaviours. Surveys designed to assess attitudes
investigate how existing knowledge affects actions (Alreck & Settle 2004, pp. 1314). This was intended to highlight the familiarity of practitioners with the
literature about in situ preservation and storage and its influence on their actions.
The second, behavioural survey, was intended to assess questions such as ‗what,
where, when and how often‘ (Alreck & Settle 2004, p. 20) in order to understand
the types of in situ preservation and storage methods previously used, those being
currently used and what techniques may be used in future. It also allowed for the
ability to identify changes in patterns and routines (Alreck & Settle 2004, pp. 2021).
The definitions presented in Chapter One (See pp. 4&5) were a focal point for
developing the questionnaire. This allowed the questionnaire to be analysed along
side the literature review in a consistent manner. It was also intended to focus
respondents, hopefully reducing the numbers of varied interpretations that can
occur with self-administered questionnaires (De Vaus 2002, p. 49). Defining in
situ preservation and storage early on in the process also aided in creating
indicators that would later be developed into the questions posed.
De Vaus (2002, p. 45) mentions three ways of developing indicators. The first
explores existing research for previously developed measures and concepts. This
method was partially applicable in this instance. The literature review provided a
38
number of definitions and concepts such as what types of in situ methods are
being used and investigated. From this, the methods were developed into
indicators of behaviour. In terms of developed measures, no research into attitudes
and behaviours of practitioners in this area has been previously conducted. It was
not surprising that no such measures existed.
The second method collects data in a less structured form in order to facilitate the
understanding of the group to be studied. The group‘s thought patterns and actions
can then help create questions that are relevant to the subject being explored (De
Vaus 2002, p. 45). This combined well with the third method that requires using
information provided by those within the group. In this case, personal experience
coupled with conversations with a number of individuals practicing both
conventional and in situ methods helped to guide question formation. In
particular, Vicki Richards, a Research Officer/Conservation Scientist with the
Western Australian Museum, was able to provide many useful suggestions and
criticisms.
Once the concepts and indicators were developed, the next step was to create and
group questions in a way that was both logical and easily understood. Questions
were formulated in order to fulfill the following: ease of comprehension by
participants through clear definition of the subject (Foddy 1993, p. 25), tolerable
length and time frame for participants (De Vaus 2002, p. 112), ease of access for
participants in terms of language and delivery (Alreck & Settle 2004, pp. 183186) and straight-forward flow of questions (De Vaus 2002, p. 110). Originally a
three-part questionnaire was conceived. This focused on the general properties of
the site, the practice of in situ preservation and storage and the use of monitoring.
This structure stemmed from the fact that it was necessary to understand in situ
preservation and storage from a site-specific background. As it was possible that
one of the measures of use was to be based on the site itself, it was practical to
define sites in terms of physical and environmental parameters as well as the types
of cultural heritage that may be found within those sites.
The largest portion of the survey focused on what types of in situ preservation and
storage are utilised and how many practitioners are using these procedures. The
questions were developed on the basis that there should exist three types of
39
practitioners: those who use in situ preservation, those who have used it in the
past but have changed their minds and those who have never used it. It also stood
to reason that there would be a number of factors influencing decisions made
against the use of in situ preservation and that in many cases it would be unlikely
to be a single reason. It was from discussions of this issue with Vicki Richards
(2008, pers. comm., 21-23 April) that a format evolved that allowed for the use of
mainly multiple response questions, including the ability for respondents to
provide an answer not specified in the questionnaire. This proved useful as these
answers demonstrated the far-ranging ideas about the topic.
The third section of the questionnaire focused on monitoring sites. Early on, the
decision was made to allow respondents who do not use in situ preservation and
storage to answer questions in this section. This was based on personal experience
with not-for-profit volunteer organisations, such as the Underwater
Archaeological Society of British Columbia and the Nautical Archaeology
Society. These groups are an integral part of protecting underwater cultural
heritage. Monitoring programmes are of primary importance where society
mandates focus on preserving heritage. While monitoring in itself may not
actively preserve the site, it is an integral part of the in situ process and due to the
assumed cost efficiency inherent in engaging the existing volunteer base, it was
assumed to be one of the more well-utilised methods.
It was after these sections were formulated that the idea for exploring the
respondents‘ backgrounds began to germinate. As the development and use of in
situ preservation and storage is a multidisciplinary one, patterns could possibly be
brought to light about how the different careers and sectors viewed these methods.
Two introductory questions were created that focused on how the respondents
viewed themselves in terms of their profession and sector. In this instance,
respondents were asked to choose one answer for each question that they felt best
described their situation. Some respondents did choose to provide their own
answer and these were often a combination of more than one area. The answers to
these two questions allowed for more specific analyses to be completed.
In order to use a questionnaire within any research project at Flinders University,
ethics approval must be sought. In this case, an application was made to the Social
40
and Behavioural Research Ethics Committee. The committee granted approval on
6 August 2008 (Project 4229). The survey opened on 18 August 2008 and closed
on 17 October 2008.
Limitations are expected with surveys. Those identified as issues in this
questionnaire included failure of participants to respond (Alreck & Settle 2004,
pp. 37 & 205), individual participants interpreting questions in different ways
(Foddy 1993, p. 189), issues between the relationship of what respondents
reported they did and what they actually did (Foddy 1993, p. 3) and misapplying
statistical methods to the data (Alreck & Settle 2004, p. 269). Some of these, such
as the use of the correct statistical methods, have been addressed through research
and questionnaire design as well as understanding the types of questions asked.
Others, such as response rates, were accepted as inherent risks to survey
methodology.
Delivering the Questionnaire
It was determined that the best delivery system for this questionnaire was an
online method, using SurveyMonkey™. This allowed participants to access the
questionnaire easily and eliminated the inherent problems associated with
completing paper questionnaires and return post (Alreck & Settle 2004, p. 183).
The online questionnaire also proved to be less expensive. As this was an
international questionnaire, the postage costs could have been prohibitive. This
may have then affected the number of surveys sent, which would, in turn, affect
the number received. Four individuals did request paper copies. Only one was
returned by the close of the questionnaire. The cost of these four questionnaires, a
combination of domestic and international postage, was $20. The overall cost of
SurveyMonkey.com™ for the six-month period necessary to send, receive and
analyse the questionnaire was $160, including the extra expense associated with
the use of SSL to ensure security for those responding. As 210 questionnaires
were sent, online delivery potentially saved $890.
The online delivery system also allowed surveys to be sent and received more
quickly than relying on postal systems. Emails containing the survey link were
delivered five minutes after they were activated. Respondents could respond as
soon as they received their link. The email system in SurveyMonkey.com™ also
41
allowed for reminders to be sent to those who hadn‘t responded. Data was also
available for analysis immediately after the questionnaire had been received by
the system.
SurveyMonkey.com™ also had the added advantage of aesthetics. The
questionnaire had the appearance of having been professionally created. Rather
than having to provide detailed instructions on a question-by-question basis,
SurveyMonkey.com™ allowed for logic formulas to be applied which guided the
respondent to the next logical page depending on the answer provided. The down
side to this was the time spent inputting formulas and testing the questionnaire
each time a change was made. Furthermore, a second survey had to be created
with question-by-question instructions for those who required paper copies.
The analysis tool provided by SurveyMonkey.com™ is relatively simple. It
provides basic information about the number of respondents who answered a
question as well as the count and percentage for each response. Bar graphs
provide visual cues. All questions that allowed the respondent to provide their
own response were viewable in a separate window. As a more in-depth analysis
was desired, a separate statistical analysis programme was utilised. This created
another hurdle as it required the data to be downloaded from
SurveyMonkey.com™ into an Excel worksheet. From there the data was edited
into a format accepted by the statistics software. This was a time-consuming
exercise, which required all questions answered with worded responses to be
removed and stored elsewhere.
Analysing the Questionnaire
Software
SPSS™ Statistics 17.0 (formerly Statistics Package for Social Sciences) was the
programme used to analyse data collected from the questionnaire. It allows data to
be ordered and processed in a variety of fashions depending upon the type of data
used. The appeal of this programme for those who are not statisticians is that the
user does not have to perform any complicated mathematics or understand
complex formulas. The software completes the statistical calculations. The
researcher has only to understand the data, the type of results each calculation is
meant to produce and how to interpret them. Outputs include tables and a variety
42
of graphs. All can be exported into a number of programmes suited to presentation
and publishing.
The biggest drawback to SPSS™ was the time-consuming data entry. Once the
Excel file was imported, the data needed to be coded in order for the programme
to be able to perform calculations. In this particular instance, the multiple
response questions posed issues. For every question, each answer had to be set up
as a single question and then grouped back together into multiple response sets.
This operation had to happen in two separate areas: one for computing the
majority of formulas and graphs and another for processing multiple response
cross tabulations.
Statistics
This questionnaire was inherently qualitative rather than quantitative. Responses
were required to be transformed into numbers, which were simply a way of
ordering the data for processing by the software. This type of data is known as
nominal data (Argyrous & Argyrous 2000, p. 10). Nominal data limited the types
of analysis performed to those that could be executed on single low-level data.
This did not, however, preclude thorough analysis. What it did mean was that
written responses by respondents were treated differently. In most instances they
received two analyses: once as a group entitled ―Other‖ which allows certain
numerical concepts such as percentages to be applied and once outside the
statistics programme by a qualitative review similar to that used in the literature
reviews.
The primary form of analysis used on the questionnaire data has been descriptive
statistics, including single variable frequencies and bar graphs; multiple response
frequencies and bar graphs; and bivariate and multivariate measures of association
such as Cramer‘s Vs, lambdas and chi squares (Argyrous & Argyrous 2000, pp.
38-39). Each of these will be defined in terms of methods and interpretation in
this section. The following section will present the analyses conducted on the in
situ questionnaire data.
Frequency tables, the most common way of depicting data, present results in
tabular form showing the number of times a particular score or attribute appears in
a data set as either an integer or a percentage. These tables have been used for
43
both single responses and multiple response sets, accompanied by bar graphs.
Both counts and percentages have been used in different areas of the analysis. It is
important to note that percentages can mask differences between numbers
(Argyrous & Argyrous 2000, p. 46); this is especially true of small data sets, such
as this one. Where a small change in number may cause a large and therefore
dramatic difference in a percentage, a count will be used. For example, only 13
respondents stated that they have never used in situ preservation and storage. The
reasons they have highlighted for this will be presented as a count rather than a
percentage in order to avoid confusing data. The frequency tables will provide
both counts and percents for reference. Most graphs will display numerical data,
though multiple response sets may provide percentages. Not all questions will be
illustrated in this chapter. Results in their entirety can be found in Appendix B.
While the majority of bar graphs are simple two-axis graphs demonstrating the
frequencies in count or percentage of data in each category, a number of graphs
have been created that demonstrate the distribution of cases across the categories
of one variable in relation to another. This allows responses to be understood in
terms of their relationships to each other, such as which careers were more likely
to choose to utilise packaging materials.
Crosstabulations reveal whether or not one variable impacts another (Argyrous &
Argyrous 2000, p. 44; De Vaus 2002, pp. 122-123). Based on visual
interpretation, crosstabulations highlight whether a pattern exists and generally
how strong the relationship is. For example, the relationship between careers and
the use of in situ preservation and storage can be explored through this method.
Single and multiple responses can be measured in this way.
Measures of association are related to crosstabulations and measure how strongly
variables are associated with each other in terms of influencing change through a
mathematical formula (Argyrous & Argyrous 2000, p. 153). Those that can be
used on nominal data include Cramer‘s V, lambda and Goodman-Kruskal tau
(Argyrous & Argyrous 2000, p. 154). These will be used in association with
crosstabulations.
44
The Questionnaire Results
The questionnaire was sent to 210 individuals in 12 countries. Eighty-nine
individuals responded within the two-month period during which the
questionnaire was open. This represents a response rate of 42.38%. Typical
response rates for surveys tend to be low (Alreck & Settle 2004, pp. 35 & 205). It
is possible this response rate represents a high degree of interest in in situ
preservation and storage by practitioners. This is, unfortunately, difficult to
determine as there are other factors involved. The population size of those
interested in the preservation of underwater cultural heritage is small. Many of the
respondents knew either the author or the supervisors and, in some instances, all
both the author and supervisors, which may have skewed return results. However,
the response rate was encouraging.
Out of 89 respondents, eight chose not to complete the questionnaire after
beginning it. Two answered only the first two questions, while others dropped out
at various points after that. Some respondents chose not to answer individual
questions, but this was infrequent and seems not to have affected the results in any
way. Some questions appear to be low response rates; this was due to answers to
previous questions disqualifying them from answering. Those who were not given
the option of answering a specific question due to their previous responses were
designated the response of ―Not Applicable‖ as responses are required by the
software. However, unless ―Not Applicable‖ appeared as a choice in a question,
this response will be disregarded.
It is difficult to assess whether or not the sample is representative of the
population. This stems in part from the fact that the total size of the population is
difficult to determine. Archaeologists and cultural heritage managers are often
required to work in a variety of genres other than maritime, such as indigenous
and historic. Conservators also may be specialists or work in a variety of areas. It
becomes even more difficult to determine the numbers of those individuals who
work in disciplines such as chemistry, biology or oceanography, where interaction
and interdisciplinary discourse may occur, whether frequent or infrequent. When
all of these factors are taken into account, the sample may be more representative
45
of archaeologists, cultural heritage managers and perhaps conservators than other
groups.
Distribution of Sample
In order to assess the types of respondents, two questions were asked at the outset
of the questionnaire. The first asked respondents to choose which profession best
described them. The majority of respondents were archaeologists. The second
asked them in which industry they were mainly employed. The majority of
respondents here identified themselves as government employees. Figures 1 and 2
below show the responses by percentage.
Figure 1. Career by respondent.
46
Figure 2. Sector by respondent.
The comparison of career versus sector (Figure 3) shows some expected results.
All cultural heritage managers are employed in the government sector as are a
large number of archaeologists. Museum staff are evenly divided between
archaeology, conservation and responses falling into the ―other‖ category. None
of the respondents were chemists, biologists or oceanographers. This does not
mean that these professions are not involved in preservation of underwater
cultural heritage. It is possible that they were either among those who did not
participate or they responded, but did not view those categories as their primary
profession. As previously mentioned, this may make the sample less
representative of the population than expected. Sector designations themselves
were not without issue. Respondents could define themselves within more than
one sector. For instance, in some countries, museum employees are also
government employees. As with careers, respondents were asked which sector
they viewed as their primary employer.
47
Figure 3. Career versus sector.
Assessing General Site Types
The first section of the questionnaire addressed the general conditions of sites
regularly investigated by the sample population. The first question (A1),
concentrating on types of sites, showed a full complement of sites are being
investigated, with the two most prominent being shallow sites (those less than
10m/30ft) and mid-depth sites (those between 10m/30ft and 30m/100ft). How the
sites were situated relative to their environment also proved extensive in range,
with those partially buried and those in a constant state of flux being the modes
(A2). Archaeological surveys and excavation were the types of investigation most
prevalent, though more than half of respondents have also performed conservation
surveys on sites (A3).
Visual inspection of materials and basic measurements, such as temperature,
salinity and water pH were the most readily recorded information collected during
conservation surveys (A4). Responses provided in the ―Other‖ category include
48
wood identification, bacterial analysis and tests for biological degradation. While
49 respondents specified that they had done formal conservation surveys in
question A3, the fact that 59 responses were collected for specific conservation
survey data collection (A4) points to the reality of archaeological fieldwork.
Formal conservation surveys may not be undertaken, but collection of some
pertinent data may be collected as part of another activity.
Seventy-nine of the 81 respondents who specified they had undertaken
excavations have participated in conventional excavation and retrieval followed
by conservation of material remains (A5). Two-thirds have used in situ
preservation, while over one-third has used in situ storage. Sixteen report having
worked on sites in which the material remains were destroyed after excavation. As
expected, the majority of materials excavated were wood/cellulose organics and
ferrous metals, though all materials were well represented (A6).
Some respondents took advantage of the open-ended response area at the end of
Part A to clarify and expand their answers. Many of them noted that it was
difficult to generalise about sites as the methods of survey and excavation are
decided upon in a site-specific manner. This was one of the limitations noted
during the development of the survey, but was acknowledged as an acceptable
risk. Comments made by respondents can be found in Appendix B. It should be
noted that while due care has been taken to reproduce these comments faithfully,
modifications have been made for anonymity, formatting and spelling. These
comments will be explored more in the next chapter.
Use of In Situ Preservation and Storage
Eighty-three respondents answered the question ―Have you or your organisation
used in situ preservation or storage and how often is it employed on sites‖ (B1).
Figure 4 shows that, of the respondents, 70 have previously used some form of in
situ methods and techniques, ranging from once through to always. Thirteen
respondents have never used any form of in situ preservation. In the follow up
question (B2), of the 70 who have utilised in situ preservation and storage, almost
all (66) stated they would continue to use these methods and techniques, while
three would not (Figure 5).
49
Figure 4. Responses to use of in situ preservation and storage (B1).
Figure 5. Responses to continued use of in situ preservation and storage (B2).
For those who have never used in situ preservation or storage (B13), ―site
conditions‖ was given as the primary reason, followed closely by financial
considerations and ―Other‖ (Figure 6). Of the five reasons listed in the ―Other‖
50
category, four respondents cited excavation and recovery of all cultural remains.
Lack of convincing research also featured prominently. As thirteen people
answered this question and there are thirty-nine responses, each respondent had on
average three reasons for not choosing to use in situ methods and techniques.
Complex issues appear to be involved when making site management decisions.
Figure 6. Reasons for never using in situ preservation (B13).
Of the three respondents who have used in situ methods and techniques in the past
but have chosen not to continue using them (B3), the graph shows that access to
equipment and materials to carry out the necessary work and ―Other‖ were two
main reasons (Figure 7). This is slightly misleading as one of the responses in the
―Other‖ category is that the respondent feels there is not enough research to
support the idea, although with the caveat that the respondent feels this is
primarily in regards to in situ storage rather than in situ preservation. This
response could be considered to fit within the category of ―Insufficient suitable
research‖. Again, government legislation was a factor for one of the three
respondents.
51
Figure 7. Reasons for not continuing to use in situ preservation and storage (B3).
For all those not currently using in situ methods and techniques (B4 and B14),
new supporting research and access to funds were the two main reasons given for
reconsidering their decisions in the future (Figure 8). Also important were having
access to professional personnel and better training. A number of other factors
were raised under the ―Other‖ category. One respondent would use in situ
preservation and storage provided there would continue to be the ability to learn
from the site and it would not be used simply as a way to avoid the issues inherent
in managing sites. Another would consider utilising in situ methods as long as
there remained the guaranteed ability for site access and that it could be done in a
way that would prohibit looting. For one, site size, quantity of material and site
location were factors for consideration.
52
Figure 8. Reasons given for reconsidering use of in situ methods in the future (B4 & B14).
As there was a possibility that career and sector demarcations impacted whether
or not in situ preservation and storage was employed, the background questions
were analysed alongside responses to use. The graph shows that a majority of
archaeologists (66%) use in situ preservation and storage (Figure 9). A similar
pattern is apparent in all other cases, though conservators and cultural heritage
managers were more likely not to have used in situ methods. There are several
possible reasons for this. In the case of cultural heritage managers, the prospect of
government interference or indifference exists as does the lack of time and
funding. The conservators, on the other hand, may be more likely to have assessed
the sites and determined that in situ preservation was not appropriate. It is also
possible that many conservators do not dive and are essentially laboratory-based,
conducting active conservation on recovered artefacts. This may have affected the
decisions they made.
53
Figure 9. Career versus use of in situ methods.
A review of Figure 10 depicting career versus reasons for not using in situ
preservation and storage shows that conservators did have a reason for not
choosing to utilise in situ methods and techniques in certain instances. Materials
that were too degraded were not deemed suitable. However, conservators were, as
a whole, influenced by many of the same factors as archaeologists and cultural
heritage managers, such as lack of personnel to carry out the procedures,
permitting issues and inability to access required materials and equipments. While
the graphs do not illustrate much in the way of correlations due to the small
sample size not using in situ methods and techniques, it does show that decisions
against the use of this form of preservation are influenced by a wide number of
factors.
54
Figure 10. Career versus reasons for not using in situ methods.
As Table 1 demonstrates, running a number of tests for measures of associations
shows little to no relationship between choice of career and decisions to use or not
use in situ preservation and storage. Values that show strong correlation and are
likely linked range between 0.700 and 1.000. Those that are most likely not linked
lie between 0.000 and 0.300. The lambda shows no relationship at all when career
is used as the dependent variable, indicating independence. Cramer‘s V shows
very weak relationship. Goodman and Kruskal, being more sensitive, was used to
determine which of the previous was most accurate. Clearly, no relationship exists
between career and attitudes towards the use of in situ preservation and storage.
Decisions must derive from institutional or agency policies, availability of
personnel and financial concerns. Quite possibly other influences that have not
been taken into consideration in this questionnaire, such as previous education and
personal experience, may also play a role.
55
Table 1. Measurements of association between career and use of in situ methods.
Measurement of Association
Lambda
Cramer‘s V
Goodman and
Kruskal tau
Uncertainty
Coefficient
Value
Symmetric
0.032
Career Dependent
0.000
B1 Dependent
0.053
0.229
Career Dependent
0.047
B1 Dependent
0.047
Symmetric
0.078
Career Dependent
0.095
B1 Dependent
0.067
In terms of approaching which in situ methods and techniques would be used
(B5), the large majority of respondents noted that their choice would not
necessarily be the same as approaches previously taken. Reasons for this (B6)
centred around the development of site-specific programmes, access to money and
the availability of new research and techniques. This clearly follows the pattern of
thought put forth by many in Part A concerning the difficulties in generalising
about sites.
The responses to the question B7 show that reburial and sandbagging are the
primary methods of in situ preservation being used by practitioners. Shade cloth
and geotextiles have been used by a third of respondents, as has the technique of
sediment drops. While sacrificial anodes were overlooked as a response in the
development of the questionnaire, perhaps an unforgivable oversight, it did appear
as a response to the ―Other‖ category. Also noted was the building of underwater
containers of sorts, either for the deposition of sediment as in road crash barriers
or as open water storage boxes in anoxic waters.
In situ storage has been used by practitioners in a number of circumstances, such
as on sites threatened by development or where the environment was seen as
detrimental to the ongoing survival of material remains. One respondent noted
that storage was used to facilitate research access to recovered artefacts; another
expanded this thought by adding that locating artefacts was made easier by in situ
storage. Five respondents mentioned lack of project funding. Three also
mentioned that storage was used to inhibit looting by divers. Responses showed
56
the majority of reburial in in situ storage instances was in an environment similar
to the original site (B9). Most respondents who reburied materials in a different
environment failed to address the follow-up question posed. Of those that did, one
cited the best compromise available at the time, designed to keep the timbers wet,
another pointed to the decision to use an area that was less prone to scouring and a
third noted that the move from beneath the sediment into open water occurred in a
specific environment in which anoxic levels existed above and below the
sediment.
While the majority of respondents did not use packaging materials in their reburial
schemes (B10), those that did used a variety of materials, the most popular of
which were tagging items. In one case, net line cradles were constructed to hold
amphorae. Twelve of the 24 respondents used some type of marker. Being able to
re-identify artefacts is clearly a priority in these instances. Where packaging
materials were not used, the majority of respondents believed they were
unnecessary. Time constraints also played a role in the decision to forego
packaging.
A variety of comments were made in the open-ended section at the conclusion of
Part B. Some respondents used the space to clarify their stance. Others expanded
answers given by providing more particulars about sites worked on. Responses
can be found in Appendix B and will be further analysed in the following chapter.
Decisions Regarding Monitoring
Three-quarters of the 81 respondents answered question C1 concerning the
monitoring of sites in the affirmative. Of those 62 respondents, only 13 report
formal monitoring schedules exist (C2). Types of schedules include purposively
timed site visits and on-site dataloggers that collect continually over the course of
a year. Even those who do maintain formal schedules, however, often have
difficulties maintaining those schedules. Four respondents remarked that while
they make every attempt to maintain the set schedules, planned excursions are
often interrupted by weather, availability of personnel, funding and politics. Two
respondents noted that over the course of their careers, they have worked for
institutions that have either not monitored at all or only monitor certain sites.
57
Reasons for monitoring sites were varied. Most included a combination of
ensuring the integrity of the site, updating existing site plans and monitoring in
situ preservation. Other reasons provided focused on cultural heritage
management of public sites by ensuring safe access for the diving community,
clean interpretive materials and minimal occurrence of looting. One respondent
was concerned about whether in situ methods were able to preserve the integrity
of the site.
For all respondents, visual means of monitoring such as on-site note-taking,
photography and videography were the most prevalent form of monitoring (C4).
Although not asked in the questionnaire, a likely reason for this is that it remains a
relatively cost-effective procedure that can rely on volunteers, pencils and paper at
its minimum. Almost half of respondents use other methods, such as sampling and
analysis of materials and sediment or corrosion measurements. Cameras and video
equipment remained the most chosen pieces of equipment (C5). Other responses
included total station; multibeam and side scan sonar; dataloggers and sediment
corers.
Two-thirds of respondents relied on single use equipment brought to the site each
time for collecting measurements (C6). Of the remaining third, only five had
permanent monitoring equipment set up on site while 17 collected samples and
analysed them ex situ. Twenty-two respondents commented on whether or not
they would make changes to their monitoring process and what those changes
would be (C7). Four believed that their monitoring programmes were adequate.
Four would like to use on-site equipment, while two would employ advanced
technology or newer equipment on site. One respondent had begun to incorporate
an on-site corrosion study into the monitoring scheme. Seven references were
made to being constricted by available funds. Four cited personnel as the deciding
factor. Volunteers were considered to be integral to site monitoring, with one
respondent looking to involve more avocational groups in data collection.
58
Figure 11. Reasons for not utilising monitoring (C8).
Time constraints, lack of availability of professional personnel and the difficulties
of funding were the primary reasons chosen by those who do not monitor sites
(Figure 11). Other important issues are the internal policies of the organisation
and difficulties accessing equipment and materials. Two respondents reported a
difficulty that could be prevalent in consulting projects: the inability to access the
site once the project is deemed complete. This could have serious ramifications
for sites that are not in the public domain. There remains the chance that for-profit
corporations will manage to circumvent government legislation and policy,
especially when practitioners already report that lack of funds and personnel
currently hinder site management.
59
Figure 12. Reasons for reconsidering decisions about monitoring (C9).
Factors provided that would cause respondents to reconsider their stance on
monitoring paralleled those reasons given for not monitoring (Figure 12).
Increased funding and available time were the main considerations. One
respondent noted the inherent difficulty of attempting to coerce clients to carry out
continued monitoring. While recommendations may be made in the final report,
once the contract of employment comes to a close, little can be done in the way of
ensuring recommendations are carried out.
As with the use of in situ preservation and storage, measures of association were
run against career choice to determine if it was an influencing factor on use of
monitoring (Table 2). This pattern is similar to that seen in Table 1 where career
was not seen to influence use of in situ methods. The lambda indicates that the
two variables are completely independent of one another. Cramer‘s shows only a
very minimal relationship. The Goodman and Kruskal tau confirms that neither
variable is dependent on the other. Again, a more complex relationship between a
number of variables such as those explored in question C9 exists in terms of
decisions about monitoring.
60
Table 2. Measures of association between career choice and use of monitoring.
Measurement of Association
Lambda
Cramer‘s V
Goodman and
Kruskal tau
Uncertainty
Coefficient
Value
Symmetric
0.000
Career Dependent
0.000
B1 Dependent
0.000
0.153
Career Dependent
0.018
B1 Dependent
0.020
Symmetric
0.024
Career Dependent
0.021
B1 Dependent
0.029
The open-ended question following Part C was also well utilised. Again, many
chose to clarify or expand their answers. Lack of funding and personnel remained
a theme throughout. These comments will feature more prominently in the
discussion of emerging issues in Chapter 5.
Conclusion
The analysis of this questionnaire shows interesting results. All practitioners, bar
one, believe that in situ methods and techniques can be a useful tool for protecting
underwater cultural heritage. Of the seventeen who currently refrain from using in
situ preservation and storage, sixteen would reconsider their choice given a
number of circumstances, including new research that would support the benefits.
Overwhelmingly, practitioners feel the choice of preservation method must be site
specific and that monitoring remains an important part of site management plans.
Lack of funding, professional personnel and volunteers, not surprisingly, are the
issues most affecting how sites are investigated, preserved and managed. The
open-ended questions have shown that there are a variety of different
understandings and approaches to in situ preservation and storage that will need to
be addressed in order to create a cohesive strategy to approach the practice of in
situ methods and techniques
61
Chapter 5: Examining Attitudes and Issues
The previous chapter presented a quantitative analysis of the administered
questionnaire. The comments made in the open-ended sections of the
questionnaire are perhaps more telling than the numbers of practitioners using in
situ preservation and storage or how many used which method. In this section, the
issues facing advocates and opponents alike come to the fore and highlight the
practical, academic and emotional reasoning that is currently informing
practitioners‘ attitudes towards the practice of in situ preservation and storage.
Demonstrating the current attitudes will allow practitioners to engage in
meaningful dialogue. This dialogue will help steer research towards not only
developing improved methods from the scientific point of view, but also
understanding the ethical issues of preserving submerged cultural heritage,
implementing sustainable management programmes and continuing to gather the
types of data integral to archaeological investigations.
When reviewing the statements made by practitioners, five main themes emerge.
The lack of convincing research into methods as well as a shortfall of quantitative
data demonstrating the success of in situ preservation and storage remains a
foremost issue. Another identified issue involves the ease with which some
agencies approach in situ preservation and storage, leaving cultural resource
managers to overcome the ―out of sight, out of mind‖ stigma. The idea that in situ
preservation and storage is meant to curtail any and all excavation and the
implications that mentality has on the discipline of maritime archaeology concerns
archaeologists in particular, while the idea that in situ preservation and storage is
the ―best‖ form of conservation for underwater cultural heritage concerns a broad
range of practitioners. The final theme that emerges is how in situ methods and
techniques impact access in terms of researchers and the general public.
Each issue is an important aspect in considering the options available to
practitioners for choosing to use or not use in situ methods. Obviously, different
understandings exist about in situ preservation and storage and these need to be
addressed. Below, issues identified from the questionnaire will be approached
separately in terms of the effects on practitioners and what dialogue and research
is necessary to create a cohesive approach that is acceptable to all practitioners
62
involved. The previously reviewed literature will be examined alongside
practitioners‘ responses in order to understand its influences on practitioner‘s
attitudes and beliefs about in situ methods.
Continuing Research
It is imperative that the techniques and the science on which in situ preservation
and storage strategies are based continue to be investigated and published. This is
highlighted in the questionnaire, with thirty-five percent of respondents choosing
to not use in situ preservation and storage due to a perceived lack of supporting
research. Two responses to open-ended sections take this idea of insufficient
research one step further. The first commented that the science behind in situ
techniques remains poorly developed (Appendix B, p. 118, no. 7) while the
second queries how and where investigations take place (Appendix B, p. 120, no.
30).
Chapter Three clearly demonstrates that while a small percentage of practitioners
believe the science to be underdeveloped, this is not the case. The physical,
chemical and biological mechanisms associated with preservation and decay have
been and continue to be explored. The research is well structured, following
accepted tenets of scientific research. Certainly, some scholarly disagreement
about methods and results exists, as noted in the discussion in Helms et al. (2004),
but this is to be expected and indeed encouraged in rigorous academic and
scientific discourse. Researchers themselves remain acutely aware that there are
still many factors that require further investigation. RAAR, in each of its subprojects, calls for continued sampling and analysis in order to assess the long-term
effects of reburial on archaeological and packaging materials (Björdal & Nilsson
2007; Bohm et al. 2007; Gregory 2007; Nyström Godfrey et al. 2007; Peacock
2007; Richards & MacLeod 2007).
Where gaps in the literature exist, research remains ongoing. Laboratory
experiments by at least two groups (Björdal, Daniel & Nilsson 2000; Björdal &
Nilsson 2008; Björdal & Nilsson 2002; Björdal & Nilsson 1999; Björdal, Nilsson
& Daniel 1999; Helms 2005; Helms et al. 2004; Nilsson 1999; Nilsson & Björdal
2008a; Nilsson & Björdal 2008b) demonstrate that scientists remain dedicated to
defining the mechanisms of wood degradation by anoxic microbes. Helms (2005,
63
p. 119; 2004, p. 79) and her team continue to experiment with new and improved
techniques to isolate and identify erosion bacteria in waterlogged wood. This is
just one example from the literature review that reveals continuing investigation
into the questions currently plaguing researchers.
It is likely that where such results are published plays a key role in the perception
that scientific research into the processes of in situ preservation and storage is
underdeveloped. Due to the nature of this research, it tends to appear in scientific
journals such as International Biodeterioration and Biodegradation or as a result
of conference publications by specialist groups such as the conservation
committees formed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites
(ICOM). Even should practitioners be aware of these publications, they may be
difficult for those outside the discipline to understand, affecting knowledge and
access.
As to whether or not experimentation with techniques should be carried out on
archaeological sites (Appendix B, p. 120, no. 30), field projects such as RAAR are
important to the study of in situ preservation and storage, especially when coupled
with laboratory experiments. Important information has also been gathered during
projects completed on archaeological sites. Comments provided in Part A of the
questionnaire stress the significance of site-specific choices when investigating
underwater cultural heritage. Data collected during BACPOLES and MoSS
allowed researchers to explore how different materials, environments and
processes on different sites affect preservation (Manders 2004b, p. 279). While
the respondent correctly identifies the need to devise off-site controlled
experiments in order to isolate important variables, it is neither practical nor
feasible to halt experimentation on archaeological sites.
The lack of funds and personnel available to properly manage sites, including the
use of in situ preservation and storage in many instances, also has ramifications in
terms of laboratory or field experimentation. Both of these problems seriously
limit the number of experiments that can be undertaken. Not exploring these ideas
on archaeological sites may be detrimental in the end, as at-risk sites may be left
to deteriorate further in the interim. Even though it served as only a temporary fix,
sandbagging William Salthouse allowed cultural resource managers to investigate
64
a more permanent way to stabilise the wreck (Harvey 1996, p. 1; Hosty 1988, p.
13). The experimental use of artificial seagrass on the site provided, for the most
part, protection in the medium term. Had the decision been made to not test the
seagrass theory, the site may well have been destroyed before an acceptable offsite experiment produced the necessary supporting data.
On the wreck of James Matthews, sandbags again have provided adequate, though
understandably temporary, protection without having a detrimental effect
(Godfrey et al. 2005, p. 64; Winton & Richards 2005, p. 79). The project has ably
combined temporary measures with off-site experimentation of plastic ―crash
barriers‖. The off-site experiment has yielded important information (Winton &
Richards 2005, pp. 86-87), but in reality, the use of a larger matrix around James
Matthews may have unforeseen difficulties which have the potential to adversely
affect preservation. There remains a certain amount of inherent risk regardless of
how much off-site experimentation is completed. Experimentation on
archaeological sites, as long as it is carried out in an ethical and logical fashion,
has the ability to provide new data and perfect methodology while providing realtime preservation.
Results from phase one of the RAAR project underscores the need for continued
research (Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, pp. 7-8). Previous conclusions
such as the fifty centimetre anoxic burial depth have been shown to be less
reliable than originally believed (Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, p. 8).
Preliminary results also show that reburial of certain materials may be
problematic and that reburial may be more material specific than first assumed as,
for example, with glass and low-fired earthenware (Bohm et al. 2007, pp. 25-26).
More research is also required to fully characterise the nature of the anoxic burial
environment and the microbes present. Not only is it not yet known which
bacterial species cause biodeterioration of organics (Björdal & Nilsson 2008, p.
869), it is also not understood how the use of various elements such as sulphur
and iron by these organisms will affect long-term preservation of reburied
materials (Huisman et al. 2008, p. 33). Other parameters, such as pH and redox
potential also need to be better understood through sampling and monitoring the
environments on site (Caple 1998, p. 122). New technologies will inevitably aid
65
researchers in collecting this data. While Gregory (Gregory 2007, p. 25) believes
that at present dataloggers can be unreliable and expensive, he feels advances in
their design may make them more relevant for practitioners in the near future.
The review of the literature carried out in this thesis points to the steady and
continued accumulation of quantifiable data supporting in situ preservation and
storage. While by no means complete, the level and quality of data to date points
to the usefulness of in situ techniques within underwater cultural resource
management. Practitioners in general accept this to be true. Nonetheless,
exploring long-term effects and developing cost-efficient techniques should
remain at the forefront of investigations into in situ preservation and storage.
Maintaining Active Management
Practitioners also expressed their concern that while in situ preservation and
storage provided cost- and resource-effective means of protection, it may be
manipulated by those who fund management programmes, leaving sites only
marginally protected. Three respondents spoke of the fear that government
management agencies prefer in situ management programmes as they appear to be
a ―do-nothing‖ approach that leaves the cultural heritage both out of sight and out
of mind (Appendix B, p. 118-120, nos. 7, 10 & 26). Another notes that when ‗you
can‘t tell the difference between in-situ [sic] preservation and neglect then its [sic]
actually just neglect‘ (Appendix B, p. 119, no. 20). Some practitioners find it
disconcerting that the potential may exist for bureaucrats intent on protecting the
financial bottom line to adopt the ―do-nothing‖ attitude and label it in situ
preservation. It is imperative that a clear and concise definition of in situ
preservation and storage exists to counter this misconception. In situ preservation
must be viewed as an active tool, incorporating monitoring and pro-active
initiatives to slow deterioration.
Some agencies have used in situ preservation and storage to their advantage.
Davidde (2002, p. 83) explores the Italian approach to underwater resource
management. While the primary focus is on public accessibility, the use of in situ
methods has allowed the Italian government to actively manage sites for which
they are responsible. Florida is also dedicated to preserving submerged heritage
for public access and has used sacrificial anodes and conservation surveys to help
66
maintain their system of underwater parks and trails (D. Scott-Ireton 2008, pers.
comm., 22 September). What is interesting in this small sample is that areas
developed for or frequented by the public are likely to be preserved in a more
active fashion than those less accessible.
What is less obvious is whether sites outside the public sphere receive the same
level of treatment. Possibly those sites which have a champion or have a
significance that stirs public opinion, such as the Duart Point wreck (Gregory
1995, p. 61; MacLeod 1995, p. 53; Martin 1995, p. 15) or Pandora ( Gesner 1993,
p. 7; Guthrie et al. 1994, p. 19), may be more likely to receive treatment than
those without. While it is indeed difficult to afford every site the same level of
investigation and protection, it may be easier to not become involved if in situ
preservation and storage becomes entwined with the ―do-nothing‖ attitude. Not all
agencies approach in situ methods and techniques as a cost-efficient management
tool. One respondent reported their agency viewed in situ as too expensive in
terms of time commitments (Appendix B, p. 118, no. 7).
Most practitioners also viewed monitoring as an important yet often
underdeveloped element of both in situ preservation and storage and site
management. Access to funding and personnel was once again a reason for failure
to monitor, yet it was understood to be essential to the management plan
(Appendix B, p. 132-33) But again, those funding work appear to be less than
convinced of its necessity. ‗[W]e are still in the middle of a political fight to get
enough funding to be able to execute an overall monitoring scheme‘ reports one
respondent (Appendix B, p, 133, no. 17). Another states department managers
need to be convinced of the necessity. In situ preservation and storage may run the
risk of being misused by those who could come to view it as an easy way to
subvert responsibility. These responses point to a need to educate policy makers
and management above the level of practitioners.
One method that appears regularly in both the literature (Beasley 1994, p. 150;
Hall 1994, p. 157) and questionnaire responses is the use of avocationals where
funding and personnel are limited. One respondent noted that management plans
for several World War II vehicles included the training of locals as site stewards
and engaging with dive operators as these groups represent stakeholders in the
67
resource (Appendix B, p. 118, no. 4). While this is one way of circumventing the
lack of funding and personnel, it does nothing to hold agencies accountable for the
resources under their control. Involving the public in the management of their
heritage is certainly a key to managing sites as well as lobbying agencies. What
else beyond funding can be done to mobilise agencies is yet to be determined.
Procuring Knowledge
In situ preservation and storage has unfortunately acquired a negative persona in
some circles. This is a result of two different groups. One group is comprised of
the treasure hunters and salvors, who wish to exploit the resource for monetary
gain. They manipulate public opinion by claiming in situ techniques are
unsuccessful and that they are in fact protecting underwater cultural heritage by
retrieving it for the public (Grenier 2006, p. x; Hall 2007, p. 2). One individual
mentioned the intentional use of deceptive information by treasure hunting and
salvage groups in order to convince the courts and the public that in situ
techniques do not protect submerged cultural heritage.
A small number of archaeologists in the questionnaire, on the other hand, caution
against its use by pointing out that it is used to prevent excavation and therefore
the collecting of archaeological knowledge. Comments made in this vein included
‗[w]ithout excavation we learn nothing, either archaeological, historical or
technological. Leaving it to the future is a cop out‘ (Appendix B, p. 121, no. 34),
though in this case, the respondent did concede that in situ preservation and
storage does have its place within maritime archaeology. Another felt that the
development of maritime archaeology could be hindered by the lack of
excavations in recent years, citing ‗a continued regression in training and
technology which are a direct consequence of the continued (and increasing)
reluctance to proactively and intrusively investigate sites‘ (Appendix B, p. 119,
no. 17). Another respondent believed that money spent on poorly understood in
situ techniques was money not spent on collecting data that can ‗justify the
importance of maritime archaeology‘ (Appendix B, p. 118, no. 7).
Interestingly, the literature does not support these allegations. It was difficult to
locate many articles that developed the idea that preservation of underwater
cultural heritage was curtailing excavation. For example, Sutherland (2002, p.
68
163) feels that a misunderstanding of marine artefact conservation, especially the
emphasis on the expense involved, means that sites that could be contributing
knowledge are not being excavated. She then ties this into the ease with which
these same sites then become victims of treasure hunters and salvors. Browsing
the contents of the International Journal of Nautical Archaeology certainly gives
the impression that excavation is continuing to occur. Is this then an issue only in
the minds of a few, or is it far more prevalent? If indeed it is being voiced in the
back room at conferences with growing emphasis, practitioners need to bring it to
the forefront of discussion in order that it be addressed.
Projects such as RAAR are also beginning to show that there is the possibility of
utilising in situ storage methods in order to continue exploring sites through
excavation. The prospect of creating storage areas that will allow for the retrieval
of material for research holds for some the answer to maintaining a balance
between preserving submerged cultural heritage and continuing to collect
knowledge from it. Certainly, a framework will need to be created that takes into
account risks to the cultural material, as well as risks to the environment and
ecology of the created storage area (A. Viduka 2008, pers. comm., April). Also
important in this debate will be public access factors.
The literature does, however, provide ample examples of articles about the ethics
of treasure hunting and commercial salvage, although these seem to be written
from the archaeological perspective. It has been noted that, unlike other
archaeological sub-disciplines, maritime archaeology appears obsessed with the
illicit procurement of artefacts (Maarleveld & Auer 2008, p. 69). Within the
structure of the questionnaire, it was impossible to distinguish those
archaeologists working for salvage groups on the basis of their answers. This is
contrary to the statement that ‗[t]here is wide-spread confusion among members
of the professional community, as well as among the public regarding in-situ [sic]
preservation and storage. This is intentional among some segments of the
salvage/treasure-hunting groups to justify the 'marine peril' argument that furthers
their chances of success in obtaining salvage awards‘ (Appendix B, p. 120, no.
30). In fact, the majority of archaeologists cited the lack of funds and other issues,
such as complete excavation of sites, as reasons for not using in situ techniques
(see Figure 10, Chapter 4).
69
The above examples clearly demonstrate one of the problems inherent with selfadministered questionnaires. There is no way to determine whether or not
respondents are providing an accurate picture of reality (Foddy 1993, p. 3). With
differences of opinions existing about who qualifies as an archaeologist or what
constitutes a treasure hunter, it is difficult in an anonymous questionnaire such as
this one to clearly determine whether or not treasure hunters and the
archaeologists associated with their work are attempting to subvert understandings
of in situ preservation and storage. Neither can it be determined whether uses of in
situ techniques are causing a decrease in excavations. New emphasis on
underwater museums and trails for the public may play a part in limiting
excavation as may the development of more sophisticated research designs.
Perhaps a project utilising an interview-style survey would be able to collect indepth information on this topic. Round table discussions at conferences would
also be beneficial.
In Situ as a Tool
‗In situ [sic] preservation/reburial is not a universal panacea for maritime
archaeology. It is a real tool in the methodology of the profession that can be used
in conjunction with a risk management framework‘ (Appendix B, p. 119, no. 16).
As this respondent states, there is a dichotomy within maritime archaeology as to
how in situ preservation and storage is used and understood. The UNESCO
Convention (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
2001) and the ICOMOS Charter (International Council on Monuments and Sites
1996) state that in situ preservation should be considered as the first option.
However, as many of the respondents stated at various points throughout the
survey, it remains but one tool to be considered and its use should depend upon a
number of considerations. This includes the significance of the site, the
environment of the site, access to necessary and on-going funding and the
development of a clear and well-constructed research plan.
As Green (2003, p. 371) states, ‗[a] pragmatic approach to CRM is a mix of in situ
preservation and archaeological excavation.‘ In his 2003 text Maritime
archaeology: a technical handbook, Green dedicates a chapter to defining cultural
resource management. While not going into any specifics about the techniques of
70
in situ preservation and storage, what Green does do is provide an in-depth and
concise account of how to create a cultural resource management plan (Green
2003, pp. 370-371). By creating a site-specific plan that takes into account all the
variables, underwater cultural heritage can be protected in a way that is ―best‖ for
each site. If the ―best‖ protection for the site is to be found in a full excavation
with retrieval, conservation and display of all cultural materials, then the classic
tenets of archaeology can be justified.
Benchmarking these parameters in a formal way may help convince agencies to
become more active in managing sites. Six respondents expressed a desire to be
able to monitor sites more frequently and in a scheduled fashion (Appendix B, p.
128-129, nos. 8, 10, 12, 14. 17 & 22). Another noted that as in situ preservation
and storage becomes more prevalent, a ‗standardised framework for collection
management in situ will need to be established‘ (Appendix B, p. 132, no. 10).
Bernier (2006, p. 64) concurs, noting that such guidelines will need to provide
clear direction and allow for consistency without being either too lax or too
constrictive for cultural resource managers. This will allow managers to make
decisions in the best interests of the site. As one respondent stated, options must
exist that can allow for ―pure research‖ or mitigate a sensitive and threatened site
(Appendix B, p. 120, no. 17).
Managing cultural heritage often relies heavily on the amount of funding
available. On the surface, in situ preservation and storage can appear to be the
cost-efficient choice as compared to excavation, conservation and storage.
However, as with most maritime archaeological activities, there is the potential
for in situ preservation and storage to be an expensive endeavour. As protecting
William Salthouse has shown, in situ methods and techniques can be costly
(Harvey 1996, p. 1).
Equipment, such as dataloggers and electrodes, can be expensive. Maintaining
and monitoring a site over a number of years can be costly in terms of time and
personnel. It is essential that the best management decision is made, whether that
is in situ preservation or excavation. ‗Financial restrictions aside, we can still
study and enjoy the resources, left in situ [sic], for many years into the future.
71
Gaining knowledge from the sites is one of the most important aspects of leaving
sites in situ [sic]‘ (Appendix B, p. 119, no.21).
Including the Public
The final issue focuses on how in situ preservation and storage can be used or
adapted for the public‘s best interests. Access remains an important topic for
cultural resource managers. In situ preservation and storage could be seen to keep
underwater cultural heritage out of the public‘s domain, as noted by one
respondent (Appendix B, p. 119). Certainly, leaving cultural heritage underwater
does limit the number of individuals who are able to interact with a particular site.
However, rarely does a museum have its entire collection on display and certain
terrestrial sites remain closed to the public due to their fragility. The cave at
Lascaux, for example, has been closed to the public since 1963, when it was noted
that the paintings were being damaged as a result of environmental changes
caused by visitation (Delluc & Delluc 1984, p. 194). Submerged cultural heritage
must be treated with the same consideration. Fragile sites need a higher level of
protection.
This is not to say that submerged cultural heritage should be made off-limits to the
public. Indeed, as noted by many respondents, the public can have an important
impact on how sites are managed. Seven respondents would be more likely to use
in situ techniques or monitor sites if more volunteers were available. Well-trained
volunteers could be utilised in a number of ways, including collecting data and
monitoring sites protected by in situ methods. Volunteers, however, are those
members of the public who are interested in actively working to protect their
cultural heritage. Many members of the public simply want to enjoy cultural
heritage through historic trails and museums. Using in situ preservation and
storage along side other management tools such as monitoring to interact with the
public was mentioned by four respondents, by way of underwater parks, trails and
museums.
In situ techniques have allowed wrecks, such as William Salthouse, Xantho and
those in Florida‘s underwater heritage preserves, to be enjoyed by the public. Of
course, this method has its drawbacks as noted by respondents. With looting by
salvors and recreational divers still an issue, a small minority of practitioners feel
72
in situ preservation leaves wrecks vulnerable. Archaeologists in Florida did
consider this and as a result, replaced some artefacts that were possible targets for
looting with replicas (D. Scott-Ireton 2008, pers. comm., 22 September).
Ultimately, the public will not have access to underwater heritage if it is not
preserved in one form or another. With space in museums at a premium, it has
become a challenge for cultural resource managers to balance the on-going
preservation of underwater sites with public access. If utilised well, in situ
preservation affords cultural resource managers a way to achieve both. As one
respondent noted, technology is advancing quickly and the ability to create realtime underwater museums is fast becoming a possibility (Appendix B, p. 121, no.
32). This has been tried with some success in Italy (Davidde 2002, p. 83). Florida
recently unveiled its new website Museums in the Sea (Division of Historical
Resources, Bureau of Archaeological Research 2007) to showcase its underwater
archaeological preserves. Videos and images on the site allow the non-diving
public to explore underwater cultural heritage they otherwise could not access.
While these videos, etc. are not real-time at present it will be possible in the
future.
Continuing the Discussion
Perhaps the biggest challenge to this research will be creating and maintaining the
interdisciplinary discussion necessary to ensure that ideas and findings are
disseminated to all practitioners. The interdisciplinary nature of the investigations
makes it challenging in terms of locating academic materials. Articles are not only
found in archaeological and cultural resource management journals such as The
International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and the Journal of Cultural
Heritage but they are also found in a number of scientific journals, such as
International Biodegradation and Biodeterioration and Marine Chemistry. Some,
like the Journal of Archaeological Science, attempt to bridge the gap by looking
at the scientific rather than the humanistic advances of archaeology. Conference
publications, such as those by the ICOM conservation work groups, remain an
important source of information, but are not as easily accessed as journals, which
tend to be accessible online.
73
Archaeologists and cultural resource managers are not typically trained in
conservation or material sciences. Nor are conservators and material scientists
typically trained in archaeology or cultural resource management. It is important
to create ways in which new methods and findings can be communicated between
groups (McCarthy 1987, p. 9). The joint conference held by the Australasian
Institute for Maritime Archaeology and the Australian Society for Historical
Archaeology in September of 2008 is an example of the venues in which such
discourse can occur. A session chaired by Vicki Richards of the Western
Australian Museum focused on in situ preservation and featured a wide variety of
practitioners in archaeology, cultural resource management, conservation and
materials science.
University programmes also need to reflect emerging in situ practices.
Traditionally, conservation topics in archaeology have focussed on conventional
laboratory treatment of recovered artefacts. Educating those who are training to
become practitioners is an important aspect of changing attitudes towards in situ
preservation and storage. Developing courses that demonstrate the values and
methods of in situ techniques should be considered by course convenors.
Recently, a graduate course held at Flinders University, Adelaide, South
Australia, provided maritime archaeology students with both scientific
background and practical experience in using in situ preservation as a tool.
Other successes have been projects, such as BACPOLES and MoSS, which
featured similar multidisciplinary groups. Diverse opinions exist about the value
and effectiveness of in situ preservation and storage. While only one respondent
stated that nothing would change their mind about its use, it is clear that no one
solution will satisfy practitioners. More research into the chemical, mechanical
and environmental issues ranked first and foremost as a reason to reconsider in
situ as an archaeological tool. But it is important to note that this must be
considered alongside other concerns such as funding, personnel, training and
protection from looting.
As projects such as RAAR continue to provide new data, certain ideas about in
situ methods and storage will change. Some, however, will continue to be
debated, such as access for the public and best practices for cultural heritage
74
management in terms of site significance and archaeological research potential.
The questionnaire demonstrates, when viewed alongside the literature, that
practitioners need to engage in active and ongoing discussions about in situ
preservation and storage, not only among themselves, but with policy makers and
the public.
75
Chapter 6: Conclusion
This thesis aimed to explore views and beliefs about in situ preservation and
storage held by the interdisciplinary community of practitioners active in its
development and deployment. This conclusion will present a summary of the
information gathered in light of the questions asked in Chapter One. The
implications these finds may have on future work will also be discussed.
Bodies of Literature
Archaeological materials are discovered, often in excellent condition, from
waterlogged sites. Ultimately, these items require some form of preservation,
regardless of whether or not they are recovered. In situ preservation and storage is
becoming an accepted method for protecting underwater cultural heritage for
many in the fields of archaeology, conservation and cultural heritage
management.
This thesis demonstrates that there is an active interdisciplinary community
investigating numerous aspects of in situ preservation. Experiments and projects
have been undertaken globally for close to four decades. In truth, some early in
situ projects were neither well-planned nor monitored, such as those in
Stockholm, Sweden (Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007, p. 15). Others, such as
the reburials at Red Bay, Canada (Grenier, Stevens & Bernier 2007), marked the
beginning of a course of experiments investigating chemical, physical and
biological processes as they pertain to underwater cultural heritage. Since the
early 1980s, the body of research has grown considerably.
Laboratory and off-site fieldwork have provided new data about a number of
different techniques and mechanisms. While investigations into the identification
of anoxic cellulose and lignin degrading bacteria may not have produced full
results to date (Helms 2005; Helms et al. 2004), experiments into culturing anoxic
bacteria in archaeological work continue. The work done on identifying the
microscopic patterns left by erosion bacteria have allowed wood scientists to
determine what type of wood is most prone to degradation and at what depths
degradation can generally be expected to occur (Björdal & Nilsson 2008; Björdal,
Daniel & Nilsson 2000; Nilsson 1999).
76
The instigation of a long-term reburial study in Marstrand harbour has, in its first
phase, provided interesting preliminary data about how different materials react
with the burial site (Bergstrand & Nyström Godfrey 2007). RAAR is also
investigating the correlation between depth and decay as well as experimenting
with new equipment for monitoring environmental and chemical parameters.
Should the necessary funding be secured for the next stages, RAAR stands to
produce important results that will be able to either demonstrate or negate the
effectiveness of in situ storage in its particular environment, providing a template
for other studies elsewhere in the world.
Reburial is far from the only technique investigated. Sandbags were used on
William Salthouse (Harvey 1996) and James Matthews (Godfrey et al. 2005) as a
means of both covering the site and providing structural stability to ships‘ timbers.
While these projects eventually demonstrated that sandbags did not afford the
protection expected or desired, William Salthouse, in particular, illustrated how
temporary measures can aid in preserving cultural heritage in the short-term
(Harvey 1996). Protective barriers such as geotextiles and artificial seagrass have
also been shown to be successful through application on site (Harvey 1996;
Manders 2006b; Pournou, Jones & Moss 1999).
Sacrificial anodes have also proven to be successful in protecting metal vessels.
The use of anodes on a number of Australian wrecks has shown that active
corrosion can be slowed (MacLeod 1998). Recent work by members of the
Western Australian Museum has focused on understanding the complex set of
interactions between modern metal wrecks and the marine environment (MacLeod
et al. 2005). While the wrecks investigated were artificial reefs for the enjoyment
of the diving community, the results have implications for the in situ protection of
historical metal vessels. Research in this area will become increasingly important
as ships from the mid-twentieth century begin to be viewed as archaeologically
significant.
One of the issues encountered with the literature review was the size of the body
of literature. Those projects believed to be the most significant in terms of results
and impact on practitioners were explored. Unfortunately, many were left out,
particularly those in the chemical, physical, biological and environmental
77
sciences. A 2007 article by Atkinson, Jolley and Simpson (2007) explores how
pH, dissolved oxygen, salinity and sediment disturbance can cause metal release
and sequestration in contaminated sediments. This directly ties in with anoxic
bacteria that feed on sulphur, iron and manganese, which affect the preservation
of buried organics. This one example points to how the varied background of in
situ preservation may prove challenging to the dissemination of information.
A review of the literature, archaeological, chemical, biological and physical,
highlights a rich and growing opus. Without doubt, some of the investigations into
in situ preservation and storage have been less formal than others. This may be
due to the immediacy of the archaeologist and cultural resource manager to
stabilise sites and prevent any further deterioration. As careful as archaeology is
to preserve the tenets of general scientific principles, it must remain
unencumbered enough to deal with the unexpected that occurs in survey,
excavation and preservation. However, the multidisciplinary flavour of the
research points to the development of a well-rounded body of literature.
Questionnaires and Practitioners
Through the use of a questionnaire, this thesis set out to determine which
practitioners were using in situ techniques and what the prevailing attitudes were
towards the techniques available. Eighty-nine individuals representing 12
countries and a number of disciplines answered the questionnaire over a twomonth period. The majority of respondents were archaeologists. In terms of
employment sector, most were from within government. In terms of practitioner
population, this may not be fully representative. As previously noted, in situ
preservation is multidisciplinary in nature. The interpretation of results may have
benefitted from the inclusion of more individuals practising in the chemical,
physical and biological sciences.
The results of the questionnaire brought to light some interesting and unexpected
issues. Practitioners on the whole were using in situ methods. Only 13 responded
that they had never used in situ preservation or storage. Most of those cited site
conditions and financial considerations as reasons for their choice. Three noted
that they were able to excavate and conserve all cultural material. A second group
of three respondents said that while they had used in situ techniques previously,
78
they would not continue to do so. In this case, lack of equipment and insufficient
professional personnel were cited most often. Even though lack of research was
cited as a reason for not choosing to utilise the method, it was not in
overwhelming numbers. Most practitioners had more than one reason for using
other methods. While it is clear that at present practitioners are not completely
discounting in situ preservation and storage, they are not yet fully endorsing it.
The questionnaire also showed that respondents are both aware of and utilising a
wide range of in situ methods. Backfilling and sandbags were the primary forms
used, though other forms of reburial as well as sacrificial anodes, shade cloth and
artificial seagrass were used. In situ storage was used for several reasons,
including environmental and developmental threats, commercial interests and
protection from recreational divers.
One of the queries set forth at the beginning of this thesis was to answer why
practitioners chose to use a particular in situ method. In an obvious oversight, this
question was never included in the questionnaire. This is unfortunate as the
answers provided would have been able to add insight to practitioners‘ attitudes.
Based on other answers in the questionnaire, a possible hypothesis would include
funding, site conditions and availability of personnel. As this questionnaire has
shown, however, practitioners‘ attitudes are complex and without having posed
the question, any hypothesis would be little more than guesswork.
The clearest message from this questionnaire was that most practitioners see merit
in in situ preservation and storage. The caveat is that it is not used as a blanket
policy. The best form of cultural resource management is to consider the whole
arsenal of tools available, to assess each site on an individual basis and to
formulate a site-specific management plan that includes contemplating the
funding, personnel, equipment and knowledge base available. Perhaps key to this
is the development of open discussion by all practitioners and the continuance of
projects similar to BACPOLES and MoSS, which allow experts from diverse
areas to collaborate.
79
Into the Future
This study‘s significance lies primarily in its use of a questionnaire to assess
current understandings of a subject that stands to greatly impact the management
of underwater cultural heritage. While by no means definitive, this research
provides a general base from which a number of possible studies could be
developed. By drawing together literature from a wide number of disciplines and
combining it with the questionnaire results, a comprehensive review has been
created of current methods and uses of in situ preservation. By reviewing the
scientific foundations of in situ preservation, it has been demonstrated that current
research supports the use of in situ preservation when appropriately applied and
this research continues to provide usable data for practitioners. Beyond providing
new avenues for research, it is hoped that this work will encourage discussion on
a number of levels that will lead to better preservation of underwater cultural
heritage.
The future of in situ preservation and storage is one of continued research. There
is still much to learn about the deterioration of archaeological materials in both
exposed and buried marine environments. But there are other issues associated
with in situ preservation and storage that deserve to be investigated. One such area
is the uneasy relationship between government bureaucracies and the
archaeologists and cultural resource managers they employ. As identified in the
questionnaire, this relationship impacts heavily on the types of site protection
afforded underwater cultural heritage. If agencies fail to grasp the implications
that a ―do-nothing‖ approach has for underwater sites, the public may come to
equate in situ preservation with the continued destruction of underwater cultural
heritage.
Educating those who are responsible for funding the preservation of underwater
cultural heritage will be perhaps the most difficult trial for those practicing in situ
techniques. Governments in particular are known to cut funding to culture,
especially in difficult economic times. Those responsible for ensuring their
spending does not exceed their budget will be hard pressed to understand the
implications for heritage that cannot be readily seen or accessed. ―Out of sight,
out of mind‖ remains a continued issue in submerged cultural resource
80
management. The development of a clear definition of in situ preservation and
storage will prevent the methods from continuing to be associated with a ―donothing‖ mindset.
Another area in which in situ preservation and storage stands to play an important
role is in the development of the underwater museum. Public access continues to
be at the heart of many cultural resource management debates. Providing an entrée
into an arena that many members of the public cannot access will be an integral
part of future management plans. By preserving sites in situ and making use of
new technologies, such as telelink and the internet, a large portion of the public
will be able to virtually ―visit‖ underwater sites. This may aid in accessing higher
levels of funding for future projects by actively involving the public.
The underwater museum will also be a challenge for those developing in situ
techniques. Many of the techniques employed presently cannot be reconciled with
public access. Reburial by its very nature blocks access. So do other techniques,
such as geotextiles and artificial seagrass, which encourage sedimentation. The
development of in situ techniques that will serve to both preserve the site and
allow access will be a necessary avenue for research. Such research also has the
potential to lead to a better understanding of public impacts on sites.
In situ storage could in the long run prove to be an economical way to store
cultural material. At present, museums have little space in which to store and
display large collections of waterlogged material. Conservation and storage costs
are often prohibitive. Research into the development of underwater storage areas
could be a possible solution that will allow archaeologists to continue to excavate
submerged sites. Results from projects such as RAAR could be utilised as a
starting point for new research into site-specific applications. Integral to the
development of storage areas is further research into the practical and
administrative challenges, such as accessing items and ensuring environmental
storage levels are met and maintained. Thomas Bergstrand has begun to explore
these questions in the RAAR project and other projects undertaken with the Bohus
County museum in Sweden (Bergstrand 2002, pp. 161-162; Bergstrand &
Nyström Godfrey 2007, p. 8). It may be assumed that, like the in situ processes
81
themselves, challenges to administration and access will need to be investigated
on an area-specific basis.
On 2 January 2009, the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of the
Underwater Cultural Heritage entered into force. This document recognises in situ
preservation and storage as an important device in the tool kit of maritime
archaeologists and submerged cultural heritage managers. It is important that in
situ preservation and storage is understood in terms of its definitions and
capabilities. This thesis explored the current attitudes held towards in situ
preservation and storage. It demonstrated through both a review of the literature
and practitioner questionnaire that in situ preservation is a dynamic field relying
heavily on interdisciplinary discourse. Practitioners do, on the whole, support in
situ techniques, but have some very specific requirements for further research and
use. As one respondent stated, ‗The in situ [sic] protection of sites is an integrated
part of this management process. Recent international standards state that in-situ
[sic] preservation is the first option to be considered when managing a site. Not
the ―best‖ option, as some would have us believe, but the ―first‖ option. If there is
good reason to intrusively investigate a site, then that may be a viable option. In
situ [sic] preservation is simply one tool in the archaeologist‘s armoury, albeit an
important and useful one.‘
82
Appendix A: Practitioner Questionnaire
In situ preservation and storage of materials from submerged maritime sites
Preservation of waterlogged archaeological materials found in maritime,
submerged or terrestrial environments has always posed difficulties for
archaeologists and conservators. It is well known that, while a larger number of
artefacts made from a variety of different materials are more likely to be preserved
in a waterlogged environment, these items require extensive and often expensive
conservation to remain stable in air. Given the costs associated with some of the
larger scale projects conducted to date, such as the Mary Rose, Batavia and Vasa,
museums, governments and other cultural agencies are finding it more difficult to
justify the expenditure involved with these types of projects in order to recover
and stabilise such culturally important and physically sensitive materials.
Increasingly, it is becoming acceptable practice to preserve or store waterlogged
materials in their original environment and not recover and treat them with
conventional conservation methods before storing them in typical museum-style
settings and storage. However, very little work to date has focused on whether
these in situ methods are the best form of preservation for these items. With new
research emerging, it is important to understand the methods professionals are
choosing when working in submerged environments and the factors that inform
their decisions concerning the preservation of these sites, features and artefacts.
This questionnaire seeks to explore current practices and viewpoints about the use
of in situ preservation or in situ storage when dealing with submerged maritime
sites and materials.
83
Definitions
To clarify interpretation, the following definitions have been used in creating this
survey.
Archaeological survey
A non-destructive survey that records the site partially or in its entirety by means of all
or any of the following: photographic and videographic media; conventional forms of
measurement such as baseline offsets, trilateration and drawing frames; electronic
forms of measurement such as total station; and any other form of site recording that
does not include excavation in any form.
Conservation survey
Any form of survey that collects information on site conditions, be they
environmental, physical, chemical or biological, that can be used to inform
conservation programmes for the site, features or artefacts, separately or as a whole,
either conventional or in situ.
Excavation
Any activity on a site involving the recovery of data via disturbance of sediments,
whether it is a test pit, a trench or full recovery of the contents of the site.
In situ preservation
Any steps taken on or intervention with a site in order to extend its longevity while
maintaining original context and spatial position; while artefacts and features may
have been excavated and/or removed, the site itself remains in place and retains all or
a majority of its original context.
In situ storage
Any steps taken to preserve the physical, historical and aesthetic integrity of artefacts
and features excavated from a site through the creation of a separate space where
items are stored within the confines of an environment similar or deemed to be more
beneficial to that from which they were removed.
Maritime archaeology
The study of human interaction with the sea through seafaring; this includes not only
the vessels themselves, but port and harbour structures; fishing, whaling and other
maritime subsistence activities; lighthouse and shore-based structures that aid in
seafaring; and any other type of site that has connections to the use of the sea and its
resources by humans.
84
Monitoring
Any observations made regarding either a site, including features and artefacts within
it, or a storage area, made by use of human senses or by equipment of any type, that
are used to assess the area to inform new procedures, answer research questions,
gather information on conservation, or provide an informative view of the area in
general.
Underwater site
Any site, feature or artefact found in a body of water, whether it be a lake, river or sea;
these sites may include those which have become inundated over time and are
currently underwater, such as habitation or ceremonial sites.
Waterlogged terrestrial sites
For the purposes of this questionnaire, any site that may now be treated as a terrestrial
site, but was at some previous time under any body of water such as a lake, river or
sea and which people interacted with as a water body for the purposes of transport,
subsistence, economy or ceremony. These sites will not include sites which have
always been terrestrial but yet waterlogged unless they can be clearly related to the
maritime landscape through the above definition of maritime archaeology.
85
Background Information
1. If you were to describe yourself in terms of your profession, which
designation best describes you? Please choose only one.







Archaeologist
Conservator
Cultural Heritage Manager
Chemist
Biologist
Oceanographer
Other
2. In which sector are you mainly employed? Please choose only one.






Education
Government
Private/Consulting
Not-for-Profit
Museum
Other
Section A: General Site Questions
1. On what types of sites have you or your organisation worked? Check all
that apply.
 Waterlogged terrestrial sites as defined in this survey
 Intertidal sites that were:




Always waterlogged
Always dry
Some parts always waterlogged; some parts always dry
Subject to fluctuations, with parts that dry out and re-wet
 Shallow underwater sites (1-10m/3-30ft)
 Mid depth underwater sites (11-30m/31-100ft)
 Deep underwater sites (below 30m/100ft)
2. How was the site(s) situated in relation to its environment? Check all
that apply.





Completely exposed, or proud of the sediment
Completely buried in sediment
Partially exposed and partially buried
Varied; site was constantly in flux, subjected to exposure/reburial cycles
Other
3. What sort of work was conducted on the site? Check all that apply.
 Archaeological survey as per the definitions
 Conservation survey as per the definitions
86
 Excavation as per the definitions
 Other
4. If a conservation survey was conducted, what type of information was
collected/processed? Check all that apply.










Water temperature
Salinity
Water pH
Other types of chemical analysis on collected water
Redox potential of water
Sediment composition
Corrosion potential of metals
Visual inspection of materials
Chemical analysis of materials
Other
5. If excavations occurred, what was done with the cultural material?
Check all that apply.





Recovery coupled with conventional conservation and storage
In situ preservation
In situ storage
Recorded/analysed then destroyed
Other
6. What types of materials were found on the site? Check all that apply.






Wood, cellulose organics
Leather, bone, shell, antler/horn
Ferrous metals
Non-ferrous metals
Silicates, porcelain, stone
Other
Please make any additional comments you feel are important about general
site conditions in the space below.
87
Section B: In Situ Preservation and Storage
1. Have you or your organisation used in situ preservation or storage and
how often is it employed on sites?





Yes, once
Yes, sometimes
Yes, often
Yes, always
No, never; if so, proceed to Question 13
2. Would you or your organisation continue to use in situ preservation or
storage as a method of conservation?
 Yes; if so, continue to Question 5
 No; if so, continue to next question
3. If you answered ‗no‘ to the Question 2, what factors have contributed to
the decision to not use in situ preservation or storage as a method of
preservation? Check all that apply.
 Equipment and/or materials required in preservation process are difficult to
access
 Time constraints
 Insufficient professional personnel available
 Insufficient volunteer personnel available
 Insufficient training of current personnel and/or volunteers
 Internal policies of organisation
 Governmental legislation
 Governmental/agency permitting difficulties
 Financial
 Not convinced of reliability/suitability by current research
 Other
4. What, if anything, would convince you or your organisation to use in
situ preservation or storage for future work? Check all that apply, then
proceed to Section C.
 Better access to necessary equipment and/or materials required for preservation
process
 More time available for process
 More professional personnel available
 More volunteer personnel available
 Better training for professional and/or volunteer personnel
 New or updated internal policies
 New or updated government legislation
 Permitting system with less associated difficulties
 More money available for projects
 New research supporting the benefits of in situ preservation/storage
 Nothing could convince me of its feasibility
 Other
88
5. If you answered ‗yes‘ to question 2, would you use the same
preservation programme?
 The same as conducted previously; if so, continue on to Question 7
 Different from what was conducted previously
 It would depend
6. If you were to make changes or consider a different approach, what
would inform your decisions? Check all that apply.
 Each site requires a preservation programme specifically developed for that site
 Changes in structure have occurred in the organisation that necessitate changes
to internal programmes
 Finances available to specific projects
 New research and techniques have become available
 Other
7. What form(s) of in situ preservation or storage have you or your
organisation used on project(s)? Check all that apply.








Reburial with backfill with sediment excavated from site
Reburial via sediment drop with sediment brought to site from elsewhere
Artificial sea grass
Shade cloth/debris nets
Tarpaulin/geotextiles
Sandbags
Excavation and reburial of materials in a different area (in situ storage)
Other
8. If in situ storage was used rather than in situ preservation, why? Check
all that apply.





Development threatened current site
Environment on site threatened preservation
Site was dangerous to shipping, commerce or recreation
Government legislation and/or policy required removal
Other
9. If materials were removed from their original site and reburied
elsewhere, what was the new environment?
 Similar to the original environment in terms of sediment, pH, redox, etc.
 Different to the original environment in terms of sediment, pH, redox, etc.; if so,
why?
10. If you reburied materials either on the original site or in a designated
storage area, were materials packaged before being reburied?
 Yes; if so, proceed to Question 11
 No; if so, proceed to Question 12
89
11. If you used packing materials and other items associated with packing,
what types were used? Check all that apply.
 Crates
 Wood
 Polyethylene
 Other






Bags
Geotextiles
Wadding
Cord
Tags
Markers, pens, pencils, etc.
12. If you did not use packaging, why? Check all that apply.











Materials are difficult to access
Time constraints
Insufficient professional personnel available
Insufficient volunteer personnel available
Insufficient training of current personnel and/or volunteers
Internal policies of organisation
Governmental legislation
Governmental/agency permitting difficulties
Financial
Didn‘t believe it was necessary
Other
13. If you answered ‗no‘ to the Question 1, what factors have contributed to
the decision to not use in situ preservation or storage as a method of
conservation? Check all that apply.
 Equipment and/or materials required in preservation process are difficult to
access
 Time constraints
 Insufficient professional personnel available
 Insufficient volunteer personnel available
 Insufficient training of current personnel and/or volunteers
 Internal policies of organisation
 Governmental legislation
 Governmental/agency permitting difficulties
 Financial
 Site conditions, such as accessibility, depth
 Materials were too degraded
 Materials were not culturally, historically or aesthetically significant
 Not convinced of reliability/suitability by current research
 Other
90
14. What, if anything, would convince you or your organisation to use in
situ preservation or storage for future work? Check all that apply.
 Better access to necessary equipment and/or materials required for preservation
process
 More time available for process
 More professional personnel available
 More volunteer personnel available
 Better training for professional and/or volunteer personnel
 New or updated internal policies
 New or updated government legislation
 Permitting system with less associated difficulties
 More money available for projects
 New research supporting the benefits of in situ preservation/storage
 Nothing could convince me of its feasibility
 Other
Please make any additional comments you feel are important about in situ
preservation and storage in the space below.
Section C: Site Monitoring
1. Regardless of whether or not in situ preservation or storage was used, do
you or your organisation have a site monitoring plan for site(s) you have
investigated?
 Yes; if so, proceed to Question 2
 No; if so, proceed to Question 8
2. If you do monitor sites, do you have a formal schedule for this work?
 Yes, we have a formal schedule; if so, briefly, how is it scheduled and what
types of procedures does it entail?
 No; it is dependent on a number of factors including available time, funds and
personnel as well as site location and conditions
3. Why do you monitor the site(s)?
 To ensure the integrity of the site and for updating necessary site plans
 To ensure the integrity of the site and monitor in situ preservation or storage
 Other
4. What types of monitoring do you use on the site(s)? Check all that
apply.





Visual monitoring, including photography, videography and notes
Materials sampling and analysis
Sediment sampling and analysis
Corrosion measurements
Other
5. What types of equipment do you use during your monitoring? Check all
that apply.
91





Cameras and/or video equipment
Dipwells, in-situ sampling and subsequent analysis
Electrodes, in-situ or ex-situ water/corrosion/sediment measurements
None
Other
6. Do you have monitoring equipment set up on site permanently?
 Yes
 No; single use equipment is brought in each time
 No; samples are collected on site and analysed ex-situ
7. Are there any changes you would make to your current site monitoring
processes? Explain briefly
8. If you answered ‗no‘ to Question 1, why? Check all that apply.
 Equipment and/or materials required for monitoring procedures are difficult to
access
 Time constraints
 Insufficient professional personnel available
 Insufficient volunteer personnel available
 Insufficient training of current personnel and/or volunteers
 Internal policies of organisation
 Government legislation
 Governmental/agency permitting difficulties
 Financial
 Didn‘t believe it was necessary
 Other
9. What if anything would convince you or your organisation to monitor
sites in the future? Check all that apply.
 Better access to necessary equipment and/or materials required for monitoring
procedures
 More time available for process
 More professional personnel available
 More volunteer personnel available
 Better training for professional and/or volunteer personnel
 New or updated internal policies
 New or updated government legislation
 Permitting system with less associated difficulties
 More money available for projects
 New research supporting the benefits of monitoring in situ preservation/storage
 Nothing could convince me of its feasibility
 Other
Please make any additional comments you feel are important about site
monitoring in the space below.
92
Appendix B: Results by Question for Practitioner Questionnaire
Background Information
If you were to describe yourself in terms of your profession, which designation best describes you? Please choose only one.
Career
Frequency
Percent
Archaeologist
53
59.6%
Conservator
14
15.7%
Cultural Heritage Manager 12
13.5%
Other
10
11.2%
89
100.0%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Maritime Archaeology Student
2. Curator of Maritime Archaeology
3. Museum curator, maritime archaeology and history
4. Shipwreck Explorer
5. Engineer/archaeologist
6. Site recording specialist
7. Teacher
8. Maritime Archaeologist
9. Museum curator
10. Conservation Scientist
93
In which sector are you mainly employed? Please choose only one
Sector
Frequency
Percent
Education
15
16.9%
Government
38
42.7%
Private/Consulting
15
16.9%
Not-for-Profit
4
4.5%
Museum
16
18.0%
Other
1
1.1%
89
100.0%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. PhD. student
94
Part A
A1. On what types of sites have you or your organisation worked? Check all that apply.
Responses
A1
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Waterlogged terrestrial sites as
defined in this survey
Intertidal sites that were always
waterlogged
49
11.3%
56.3%
53
12.2%
60.9%
Intertidal sites that were always
dry
27
6.2%
31.0%
Intertidal sites in which some
parts were always waterlogged
while some parts always dry
50
11.5%
57.5%
Intertidal sites that were subject
to fluctuations, with parts that
dry out and re-wet
50
11.5%
57.5%
Shallow underwater sites (110m/3-30ft)
80
18.5%
92.0%
Mid depth underwater sites
(11=3-m/31-100ft)
78
18.0%
89.7%
Deep underwater sites (below
30m/100ft)
46
10.6%
52.9%
433
100.
497.
0%
7%
Total
95
A2. How was the site(s) situated in relation to its environment? Check all that apply.
Responses
A2
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Completely exposed or proud of 52
the sediment
20.0%
60.5%
Completely buried in sediment
59
22.7%
68.6%
Partially exposed and partially
buried
74
28.5%
86.0%
Varied; site was constantly in
flux, subjected to
exposure/reburial
71
27.3%
82.6%
Other
4
1.5%
4.7%
260
100.
302.
0%
3%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Large artifacts exposed (cannon & anchors), remains of hull
covered by thin layer of coral growth
2. In reclamation
3. Shipwreck site on terrestrial site, partly and occasionally
waterlogged
4. Sites that used to be underwater all the time but are now on land:
reclaimed land "polder" area
96
A3. What sort of work was conducted on the site? Check all that apply.
Responses
A3
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Archaeological survey as per the 77
definitions
37.6%
92.8%
49
23.9%
59.0%
Excavation as per the definitions 72
35.1%
86.7%
7
3.4%
8.4%
205
100.0%
247.0%
Conservation survey as per the
definitions
Other
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Monitoring
2. Monitoring of in situ conservation methods - anodes attached to
anchors
3. Testing - including surface collection
4. In situ preservation, monitoring, reburial ex situ under ground water
level
5. [Site] was raised and excavated on the surface, while the site was
salvaged to reasonable standards by navy divers …
6. In situ stabilisation
7. Taking measures for physical protection (covering the site with
sandbags and or maze)
97
A4. If a conservation survey was conducted, what type of information was collected/processed? Check all that apply.
Responses
A4
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Water temperature
46
13.1%
78.0%
Salinity
46
13.1%
78.0%
Water pH
46
13.1%
78.0%
Other types of chemical analysis 23
on collected water
6.5%
39.0%
Redox potential of water
23
6.5%
39.0%
Sediment composition
37
10.5%
62.7%
Corrosion potential of metals
35
9.9%
59.3%
Visual inspection of materials
55
15.6%
93.2%
Chemical analysis of materials
30
8.5%
50.8%
Other
11
3.1%
18.6%
352
100.0%
596.6%
Total
Responses
7. Dissolved oxygen, sedimentation-erosion, water content, biological deterioration
8. Proxy redox measurements, (i.e., H2S levels as a proxy for reducing environment)
9. Sediment micromorphology, internal wave datalogger, sediment bulk properties (water content,
particle size, etc.), artefact micromorphology, wood bacteriology
10. Some of this information was gathered, but I cannot give details. It wasn't a comprehensive study.
11. Species identification (timbers)
to ―Other‖
1. Metallurgical analysis of materials
2. Turbidity of water, grain particle size, current monitoring
3. Bacterial analysis
4. Dissolved oxygen and wood id
5. Petrography, XRF, XRD, IC, SEM on selected materials. Risk & Condition
Assessments, Assessment of Heritage Significance, Stabilisation
specifications
6. Surface pH of corroding metal
98
A5. If excavations occurred, how was the cultural material handled? Check all that apply.
Responses
A5
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
79
42.7%
97.5%
55
29.7%
67.9%
In situ storage
30
16.2%
37.0%
Recorded/analysed then
destroyed
16
8.6%
19.8%
Other
5
2.7%
6.2%
185
100.0%
228.4%
Recovery coupled with
conventional conservation and
storage
In situ preservation
Total
Responses
to ―Other‖
1. Non-diagnostic artifacts returned to the site in specially marked
bags and labelled
2. Recorded, analysed then disposed
3. Terrestrial shipwreck was reburied after documentation
4. Recovery and documentation followed by reburial
5. Recovery for documentation, then reburial on site
99
A6. What types of materials were found on the site? Check all that apply.
Responses
A6
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Wood, cellulose organics
81
20.7%
97.6%
Leather, bone, shell, antler/horn
69
17.6%
83.1%
Ferrous metals
81
20.7%
97.6%
Non-ferrous metals
74
18.9%
89.2%
Silicates, porcelain, stone
76
19.4%
91.6%
Other
10
2.6%
12.0%
391
100.0%
471.1%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Paper
2. Beads and glass
3. Wax candle (sperm whale)
4. In one case rubber (tiles on a submarine to deaden acoustics)
5. Human remains
6. Chipped stone
7. Paleobotanic: seeds etc, insects, liquids, lace
8. Fibre, plant materials, textiles - you may be classing these under
"Wood, cellulose organics", but just in case not....
9. Cloth
10. Rope, seeds gunpowder
100
Please make any additional comments you feel are important about general site conditions in the space below.
1. Left 25 cannon on site, excavated one and put in fresh water conservation tank.
2. The site…was very close to the shore (less than 100 metres). It is a very dynamic site, and with the action of the waves and the unforgiving nature of ice during winter, very
little would have survived for long after the remains were exposed after a storm.
3. Dynamic coast means that only rarely would in situ preservation be possible. The expense of continuously restabilising sites [is] often prohibitive
4. I have worked on lots of sites over the years with many organisations, so have commented on these. Many different organisations did things differently. Some undertook
whole excavation of sites. Some survey. Some reburied organics on site. Some did on site conservation (eg. anodes, etc.).
5. These answers are coming [from] projects that range across all of the options in terms of environment and intent of research, so answers are not necessarily site-specific. All
that to say, it completely depended on the researcher, the site, and resources what was done at each site.
6. Wild west coast surf conditions –sand
7. Difficult to generalize about sites as there is much variation
8. A lot of these sites - exposure was an environmental process (or changes in sediment regimes due to human action nearby had led to exposure). In these cases the question
of in situ preservation becomes very difficult - it essentially means intervention which is not always sustainable nor cost-effective.
9. Site conditions were cold water, shallow, with a highly organic sediment. Evidence within the wood structure of previous exposure to wood-boring organisms (toredo) postdeposition: although, no current records of wood-boring organisms in the area.
10. A6. refers to "the site". Am I meant to think of only one site? I've answered referring to several sites.
11. I have over 20 years experience working on submerged and intertidal sites in widely varying conditions, so the above answers reflect the breadth of that experience rather
than a specific site.
12. Sites vary from turbulent to still water with heavy silt loads and from saline to fresh.
13. One particular site is in extremely deep water - 4,000 feet. Many of the above listed analyses were conducted on this site as the effects of deep-water in situ preservation
are not yet well understood.
14. Only very limited recovery of cultural materials in undertaken by program
101
Part B
B1. Have you or your organisation used in situ preservation or storage and how often is it employed on sites?
B1
Frequency
Percent
Valid
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Yes, once
8
9.0%
9.0%
9.0%
Yes, sometimes
32
36.0%
36.0%
44.9%
Yes, often
24
27.0%
27.0%
71.9%
Yes, always
6
6.7%
6.7%
78.7%
No
13
14.6%
14.6%
93.3%
No Response
6
6.7%
6.7%
100.0%
89
100.0%
100.0%
Total
102
B2. Would you or your organisation continue to use in situ preservation or storage as a method of conservation?
B2
Frequency
Percent
Valid
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Yes
66
85.7%
85.7%
85.7%
No
3
3.9%
3.9%
89.6%
No Response
8
10.4%
10.4%
100.0%
77
100.0
100.0%
Total
103
B3. If you or your organisation would not continue to us in situ methods, what factors have contributed to the decision to not use in situ
preservation or storage as a method of preservation? Check all that apply.
Responses
B3
Percent of
Cases
N
Percent
Equipment and/or materials
required in preservation process
are difficult to access
3
25.0%
75.0%
Time constraints
1
8.3%
25.0%
Insufficient professional
personnel available
2
16.7%
50.0%
Insufficient volunteer personnel
available
0
0.0%
0.0%
Insufficient training of current
personnel and/or volunteers
1
8.3%
25.0%
Internal policies of organisation
0
0.0%
0.0%
Governmental legislation
1
8.3%
25.0%
Governmental/agency permitting 0
difficulties
0.0%
0.0%
Financial
1
8.3%
25.0%
Not convinced of
reliability/suitability by current
research
Other
1
8.3%
25.0%
2
16.7%
50.0%
Total
12
100.0%
300.0%
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Insufficient current research into the long term affects of in situ (for organics) storage; [a specialist
in the field] has spoken to me a lot about this in the past & is very sceptical about this technique.
This is mainly for in situ storage not preservation.
2. Depends on circumstances, but in situ is not necessarily best option
104
B4. What, if anything, would convince you or your organisation to use in sit preservation or storage for future work? Check all that
apply.
Responses
B4
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Better access to necessary equipment 1
and /or materials required for
preservation process
12.5%
25.0%
More time available for process
0
0.0%
0.0%
More professional personnel
available
2
25.0%
50.0%
More volunteer personnel available
0
0.0%
0.0%
Better training for professional
and/or volunteer personnel
1
12.5%
25.0%
New or updated internal policies
0
0.0%
0.0%
New or updated government
legislation
0
0.0%
0.0%
Permitting system with less
associated difficulties
0
0.0%
0.0%
More money available for projects
1
12.5%
25.0%
New research supporting the benefits 1
of in situ preservation/storage
12.5%
25.0%
Nothing could convince me of its
feasibility
0
0.0%
0.0%
Other
2
25.0%
50.0%
Responses to ―Other‖
8
100.0%
200.0%
1. We do not need convincing, it depends on circumstances
2. Certainly that we would be learning something about the past from the site and the I[n]
S[itu] was not be used as a way of ignoring the management problem
Total
105
B5. If you or your organisation would continue to use in situ methods, would you use the same preservation programme?
Frequency
Percent
Valid
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Yes
7
9.1%
9.1%
9.1%
No
1
1.3%
1.3%
10.4%
It Depends
58
75.3%
75.3%
85.7%
No Response
11
14.3%
14.3%
100.0%
Total
77
100.0%
100.0%
B5
106
B6. If you were to make changes or consider a different approach, what would inform you decisions? Check all that apply.
Responses
B6
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Each site requires a preservation 56
programme specifically
developed for that site
32.8%
91.8%
Changes in structure have
8
occurred in the organisation that
necessitate changes to internal
policies
4.7%
13.1%
Finances available to specific
projects
50
29.2%
82.0%
New research and techniques
have become available
51
29.8%
83.6%
Other
6
3.5%
9.8%
171
100.0%
280.3%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. International collaborative research ongoing
2. Research question
3. Significance potential of the site
4. Archaeological Significance of site/Public value
5. Goals can vary. Some sites may be developed as underwater
museums as the technology (eg.: telepresence) evolves.
6. Potential danger to site
107
B7. What form(s) of in situ preservation or storage have you or your organisation used on project(s)? Check all that apply.
Responses
B7
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Reburial with backfill with sediment 50
excavated from site
25.1%
78.1%
Reburial via sediment drop with
sediment brought to site from
elsewhere
19
9.5%
29.7%
Artificial sea grass
10
5.0%
15.6%
Shade cloth/debris netting
21
10.6%
32.8%
Tarpaulin/geotextiles
19
9.5%
29.7%
Sandbags
43
21.6%
67.2%
Excavation and reburial of materials 26
in a different area (in situ storage)
13.1%
40.6%
Other
11
5.5%
17.2%
199
100.0%
278.1%
Total
8. I work with archaeological monuments and historic buildings therefore different principles &
methods apply
9. Cathodic protection of a cast iron cannon with a sacrificial anode
10. Non-reburial storage- construction of open water depots adjacent to wreck site in anoxic waters
for the storage of excavated amphorae.
11. Sorry, not directly involved
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Leaving underwater sites as is for future use as Underwater Archaeological
Preserve or Underwater Parks
2. Build up of site with perimeter of 'road lego'
3. Left as found
4. Indirect sediment deposition and natural transfer of sediment to cover site.
5. Reburial of materials in different areas not due to excavation but to storm
re-deposition
6. We don't do in situ preservation as much as we do in situ conservation
analysis and storage
7. Regular monitoring of known sites
108
B8. If in situ storage was used rather than in situ preservation, why? Check all that apply.
Responses
B8
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Development threatened current 15
site
19.5%
26.8%
Environment on site threatened
preservation
16
20.8%
28.6%
Site was dangerous to shipping,
commerce or recreation
3
3.9%
5.4%
Government legislation and/or
policy required removal
3
3.9%
5.4%
Not applicable
25
32.5%
44.6%
Other
15
19.5%
26.8%
Total
77
100.0%
137.5%
N
109
Responses to ―Other‖
1. In situ storage to keep artifacts recovered for research purposes
2. The wreck was reburied in a lake. Climatic conditions in the area would have complicated the actual monitoring of the remains
3. Cannon was moved off wrecksite to allow access to hull, cannon stored on site,
4. Cost was a factor - re: conservation of organic artefacts
5. Frequently visited by looters and sport divers
6. Excavated artefacts are easier to re-locate if reburied all together in a specified location, and less likely to re-erode out of sediment.
7. Cost
8. After complete excavation we sometimes rebury ship parts for future research under the groundwater table on land. Important reason is the lack of funding for conservation,
the reason that there is no immediate need for conservation. Underwater best place to keep the timbers well and they are available (more or less) for future research.
9. Proper study of a ship structure requires full excavation and reverse engineering. After a structure is destroyed preservation in situ is not an option.
10. Looting threatened site
11. My reading of your definitions is that in-situ storage refers to artifacts while in-situ preservation refers to the site (including its artifacts). Because of cost/technology
limitations deepwater archaeology cannot commit to whole site excavation so in-situ (site) preservation will be done by default. Amphorae and ballast are the only stored
artifacts- chosen for robustness.
12. We are considering it in association with our conservators.
13. Research excavation but no funding for conservation
14. Large volume of some artefact materials (dunnage, bottle fragments) made conservation very difficult/expensive - reburied/stored materials on site not vital to
archaeological research
15. Potential loss of exposed artifacts to souvenir-seeking sport divers
110
B9. If materials were removed from their original site and reburied elsewhere, what was the new environment?
B9
Frequency
Percent
Valid
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Not Applicable
30
39.5%
39.5%
39.5%
Similar
Environment
23
30.3%
30.3%
69.8%
Different
Environment
8
10.5%
10.5%
80.3%
No Response
15
19.7%
19.7%
100.0%
Total
76
100.0%
100.0%
7. Timbers were taken from estuary/river to salty lake, some environmental features would be
different, however it was the best solution at the time - and timbers remain submerged
8. Material was reburied from different locations in a deep pit under groundwater table.
9. Similar in general terms (close to original site, but in an area less subject to strong scouring.
If different, why?
1. Reburial was done in a controlled manner, under a sand shelter, deep into a
cold lake in the obscurity. pH of the water is different, but the monitoring
has shown that anoxic conditions were reached very rapidly.
2. One site had been partially exposed prior to excavation. Following
excavation, it was transferred to another location nearby, but completely
reburied under several metres of sediment. pH readings etc were not taken
at either site.
3. Have used both similar, close by environments, and very different
environments - eg. estuary to brackish, non-tidal lake.
4. Surface recovered finds were buried on site
5. Not in the same environment: from mainly shipwrecks found in the sea to
reburial under groundwater table in fresh water environment
6. Open water conditions are not identical to the subsurface conditions in the
deep portion of this water body. However in essential ways (no life forms
above anaerobic bacteria, and little or no current) it is similar to the buried
environment. Something only anoxic basins like this water body can supply.
The open water environment at the seabed adjacent to the wrecksite is very
similar to the buried environment...except that it is open.
111
B10. If you reburied materials either on the original site or in a designated storage area, were materials packaged before being reburied?
B10
Frequency
Percent
Valid
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Yes
21
27.3%
27.3%
27.3%
No
31
40.3%
40.3%
67.6%
No Response
25
32.4%
32.4%
100.0%
Total
77
100.0%
100.0%
112
B11. If you used packing materials and other items associated with packing, what types were used? Check all that apply.
Responses
B11
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Wood crates
2
2.6%
9.1%
Polyethylene crates
6
7.8%
27.3%
Bags
12
15.6%
54.5%
Geotextiles
9
11.7%
40.9%
Wadding
4
5.2%
18.2%
Cord
8
10.4%
36.4%
Tags
18
23.4%
81.8%
Markers, pens, pencils, etc.
12
15.6%
54.5%
Other
6
7.8%
27.3%
77
100.0%
350.0%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Anodes
2. Netlon
3. Tanks
4. Large netting-lined cradles capable of holding 12 amphoras [sic]
each were deployed.
5. Plastic mesh bags
6. Plastic dymo labels attached to artifacts with nylon line
113
B12. If you did not use packaging, why? Check all that apply.
Responses
B12
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Materials are difficult to access
2
4.2%
7.1%
Time constraints
9
18.8%
32.1%
Insufficient professional
personnel available
2
4.2%
7.1%
Insufficient Volunteer personnel 2
available
4.2%
7.1%
Insufficient training of current
personnel and/or volunteers
1
2.1%
3.6%
Internal policies of organisation
2
4.2%
7.1%
Governmental legislation
1
2.1%
3.6%
Governmental/agency permitting 0
difficulties
Financial
5
0.0%
0.0%
10.4%
17.9%
Didn‘t believe it was necessary
17
35.4%
60.7%
Other
7
14.6%
25.0%
48
100.0%
171.4%
Total
114
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Unsure, was not present during specified project
2. If placing objects back into an in situ environment i.e. underwater, there is no need for packaging the objects and it would also depend on what was meant by packaging.
Packaging would create microclimates and microenvironments that would in some ways negate the positives of placing back into a maritime environment.
3. Packaging encourages different microenvironments that proved hazardous to organic materials in particular
4. On one site, the material was buried under deep sediment and unlikely to ever be revisited so further packaging was deemed unnecessary. On one other site the materials
were packaged in net to aid re-identification, and buried under sediment.
5. Such methodologies have not been comprehensively tested and may have detrimental effects
6. Was only done once and the senior partner in the project was the legal owner of the site and made the determination not to do it.
7. Sometimes they were packed but not always and it is a tradition from the 80s. At that time the need was not felt to. We are planning an extensive research on the condition
of the reburied wood and then we will see if it was necessary or not
115
B13. If you or your organisation has never used in situ methods, what factors have contributed to the decision to not use these as a
method of conservation? Check all that apply.
Responses
B13
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Equipment and/or materials required in
preservation process are difficult to access
1
2.6%
7.7%
Time constraints.
2
5.1%
15.4%
Insufficient professional personnel available
2
5.1%
15.4%
Insufficient volunteer personnel available
2
5.1%
15.4%
Insufficient training of current personnel and/or 2
volunteers
5.1%
15.4%
Internal policies of organisation
3
7.7%
23.1%
Governmental legislation
1
2.6%
7.7%
Governmental/agency permitting difficulties
3
7.7%
23.1%
Financial
5
12.8%
38.5%
Site conditions, such as accessibility, depth
6
15.4%
46.2%
Materials were too degraded
2
5.1%
15.4%
Materials were not culturally, historically or
aesthetically significant
1
2.6%
7.7%
Not convinced of reliability/suitability by
current research
4
10.3%
30.8%
Other
5
12.8%
38.5%
39
100.0%
300.0%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Authority perceived in situ as a long-term commitment, as if conservation and storage is easier
2. Impossible in the conditions
3. Institution mandate to excavate/document and raise materials
4. We were able to do all of the conservation in the laboratory.
5. Site was small--total recovery was chosen
116
B14. What, if anything, would convince you or your organisation to use in situ preservation or storage for future work? Check all that
apply.
Responses
B14
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Better access to necessary equipment and /or
materials required for preservation process
3
7.9%
23.1%
More time available for process
2
5.3%
15.4%
More professional personnel available
3
7.9%
23.1%
More volunteer personnel available
1
2.6%
7.7%
Better training for professional and/or volunteer
4
personnel
10.5%
30.8%
New or updated internal policies
3
7.9%
23.1%
New or updated government legislation
2
5.3%
15.4%
Permitting system with less associated
difficulties
3
7.9%
23.1%
More money available for projects
6
15.8%
46.2%
New research supporting the benefits of in situ
7
preservation/storage
18.4%
53.8%
Nothing could convince me of its feasibility
1
2.6%
7.7%
Other
3
7.9%
23.1%
38
100.0%
292.3%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. When applicable, it should be done
2. Site size, quantity of materials, site location, --we have not ruled out in situ storage or preservation
and have used it for terrestrial materials
3. Guarantee of continued access for study if needed and protection from looting
117
Please make any additional comments you feel are important about in situ preservation and storage in the space below.
1. I believe in situ preservation is important so that the sites can be preserved for future generations as parks. Also it is important to keep the sites preserved for future
archaeological investigation.
2. When we refer to in situ preservation, it typically occurs in deepwater (greater than 100 metres) where artifacts are documented but left in place.
3. Budgets and facilities for long term preservation were not available. This option was selected after an extensive study of the archaeological material, including photography
and full scale drawings of the ship's body
4. Current position in Pacific Islands: submerged sites tend to be WWII and primarily large metal military objects. Official policy is to leave them as they lie. Also cost and
logistics are factors. Previous positions coastal US mainland: fresh and salt water wrecks, intertidal wrecks, 19th century war sites with metal, wood, leather, bone,
ceramics, glass. Some materials were collected and professional conservators were hired to treat them. Again, cost of conservation and need for specialized training were
factors. Exceptions were made only for well-preserved artifacts with high interpretive value that also had manageable size.
5. Care must be given to restoration of the site to original conditions. Monitor.
6. I'm not entirely sure what is meant by your definition of in situ storage and the difference between that and in situ preservation - from a conservation perspective, surely in
situ preservation and in situ storage are the same things? And does your definition of in situ relate to keeping things underwater and in context? That is not so clear in your
definitions.
7. My major concerns are (I have in involved in a number of in situ experiments lately, including raising funds for and managing the deployments of I[n] S[itu] systems) 1
I[n] many cases the science behind this is poor and needs development, so are we blowing funds that could be spent excavating and recording the site instead 2 It is very
expensive and requires long term management and expenditure 3 It provides no research material and does not provide material (not necessarily artifacturial) with which
we can justify the importance of maritime archaeology 4 Government is keen to use I[n] S[itu] as a way of ignoring maritime archaeology, if you put sandbags on it is
preserved and can be ignored, it isn't and it can't
8. Comments about need for further research are for in situ storage and mainly organics, especially after timber sites are disturbed. There are still problems with acid sulphate
soils
9. In your first question, you ask what our chief area is: I am both an archaeologist and conservator.
10. Only experience was moving a cache of canoes to a more secure location. Nearby but deeper freshwater, on state property, with regular patrol. BUT what if the "safe"
place becomes more polluted, or micro environment changes to accelerate biodeterioration? Really feel that state authority regards this as out-of -sight out of mind.
11. When I talk about in situ storage it was primarily for non-diagnostic artifacts recovered that we couldn't keep or preserve, so we returned them, but with no intention of
recovering them again in the future.
118
12. Many sites containing waterlogged materials become exposed during storm events - the changed environment results in rapid degradation from desiccation and from
toredo
13. We are about to start some in situ preservation in the next few weeks by hooking up sacrificial aluminum anodes to artifacts standing proud on the ocean floor.
14. The majority of the projects we currently work on go from Phase I survey to Phase III mitigation as the resource is usually in a construction corridor and will be destroyed
unless of considerable historical significance. In that case relocation and reburial might be given consideration.
15. We've actually moved one large artifact (canoe) to a pond that seemed to be the same conditions. It was not and we ended up with new organisms attacking the wood. We
try not to do that any more.
16. In situ preservation/reburial is not a universal panacea for maritime archaeology. It is a real tool in the methodology of the profession that can be used in conjunction with
a risk management framework. All objects deteriorate, whether in a collection store or in a burial environment. It is the rate of deterioration that differs. If an object is not
significant and the risk to it of deterioration from reburial is acceptable using a risk assessment matrix then reburial is an acceptable option to be explored.
17. Successful long-term in situ preservation is dependent upon a reliable dataset of the environmental controls, and a comprehensive knowledge of current impacts and the
potential for change in a site's environmental stability. Given the current lack of impetus to garner such information, and the lack of resources available to develop
technologies capable of providing such data, preservation in situ should be seen only as a short-term solution. Some current technologies have facilitated the interim
deflection of physical, chemical and biological impacts of the marine environment, but such approaches should not be regarded as "final solutions". Furthermore, there are
fundamental problems with the strategy that reach beyond long-term conservation - there are issues of public access, the loss of critical archaeological data, and on a
broader scale, there are issues with the development of maritime archaeology as an academic pursuit, and the continued regression in training and technology which are a
direct consequence of the continued (and increasing) reluctance to proactively and intrusively investigate sites.
18. It is not just the chemical make up of the water/sediment which is important in deciding which system of in situ preservation/storage to use, but also tidal regimes,
sediment loading/erosion regimes, possible damage by fishing/boat traffic/divers, bottom sediments/geology etc. it is often these factors that will mean each site needs a
different approach.
19. Needs to be determined on a case by case basis; sites like Wasa and Mary Rose etc. are sufficiently significant to merit the time/cost factor, most sites are not. It's
important to try to maintain the conservation equilibrium that a site had prior to disturbance, but I'm not confident that it can be done adequately.
20. 1. The whole question of disposal of cultural material by any means needs reviewing dispassionately, reburial is just one of those. 2. In-situ preservation has been used as
a way for governments to avoid their responsibilities, particularly the UK agencies. 3. When you can't tell the difference between in-situ preservation and neglect then its
actually just neglect, see most of the UK 'protected' wrecks for details.
21. With conservation science advancing so rapidly, it is important to leave sites until we have a better understanding of how to deal with them. Financial restrictions aside,
we can still study and enjoy the resources, left in situ, for many years into the future. Gaining knowledge from the sites is one of the most important aspects of leaving sites
in situ.
22. If a site is buried in a cool, dark, anaerobic, non-fluctuating environment, and if there are no impending risks to the site, it stands the best chance on long-term preservation
and naturally it should be left untouched.
119
23. I have worked on complete shipwreck excavation/recovery. I think it is always important to have the option of limited or larger-scale excavation for pure research
purposes or to mitigate a threatened site, but often the best option is limited excavation/investigation with regular site monitoring to keep an assessment on in situ
preservation.
24. In situ preservation needs regular monitoring of the site
25. On certain sites I am familiar with, the question is often one of managed exposure and erosion rather than in situ preservation - the word is in itself misleading. On several
sites, some areas were stabilised while others could not be. This has the disadvantage of limiting access to the visible sites which has serious management/community
access ramifications. So each site HAS to be looked at on an individual basis, but also within a limited budget which means sites must be weighed against each other. In
addition the simple issue of appropriately qualified practitioners available is a limiting factor with many sites.
26. I think the archaeological profession needs to make the important distinction that in situ preservation is NOT a 'do-nothing' approach (a commonly held belief among
policy makers)
27. Start again with your survey and ask the question why the practitioner used the methods they did. Every site and every square mile of seabed is different, tides and coastal
conditions control any attempt to conserve in situ.
28. Our institution is not working with the government concerned and I have no idea if the wreck reburial site has ever been monitored.
29. My comments reflect work on many different sites, in a whole range of environments, not one specifically, so are somewhat general.
30. There is wide-spread confusion among members of the professional community, as well as among the public regarding in-situ preservation and storage. This is intentional
among some segments of the salvage/treasure-hunting groups to justify the 'marine peril' argument that furthers their chances of success in obtaining salvage awards. The
truth is, there is not enough basic science that has been done to know enough about the conditions that impact the preservation of waterlogged cultural resource after
reburial. Everyone wants to have a quick fix to problems that currently plague submerged cultural resource management. The quick fixes are often not based in hard
science, but are simply anecdotal. In my view, an archaeological site is not the best medium for developing the scientific data necessary to further the field. This is because
of the differing wreck formation processes, which are often unique to the individual sites. There are often too many variables to isolate when attempting to analyze the
environmental and deterioration data collected on these sites. Basic controlled science experiments are needed to isolate specific variables inherent in the wreck formation
and wreck stabilization processes. Only from the rigorous analysis of the data will archaeologists and cultural resource management personnel be able to achieve an
understanding of how to best protect these sites.
31. Over the past few decades, maritime archaeology has developed from an object-related profession into one where we talk about ‗Underwater Cultural Heritage‘; a nonrenewable resource that provides a unique opportunity to investigate and learn from our past. Shipwrecks are essentially closed finds. Their informative strength is the
assemblage value of all the associated objects; ship, inventory, personal belongings and cargo collectively. Every shipwreck (every maritime archaeological site) has its own
story to tell. This maritime archaeological resource has to be managed in a responsible and sustainable manner. Management means that sites – or information from these
sites - must being secured over a long period of time. Sites have to be investigated according to international standards like the Annex of the UNESCO 2001 Convention for
the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and more and more sites are also being protected in situ. Archaeologists, conservators and policy-makers are now, all
involved in the management of Underwater Cultural Heritage. The in situ protection of sites is an integrated part of this management process. Recent international standards
state that in-situ preservation is the first option to be considered when managing a site. Not the 'best' option, as some would have us believe, but the 'first' option. If there is
120
good reason to intrusively investigate a site, then that may be a viable option. In situ preservation is simply one tool in the archaeologist‘s armoury, albeit an important and
useful one.
32. I'm getting the sense that you are not researching underwater exhibition/storage for the developing area of underwater museums. In deep water coastal archaeology it will
develop and present new ethical, security and technical problems for conservators etc. Google Monterey Bay, bird-on-a-wire technology for mat. sci applications.
33. Contact institution‘s conservators
34. In situ preservation is one of many options. However if it is used as a blanket policy it is wrong. Without excavation we learn nothing, either archaeological, historical or
technological. Leaving it to the future is a cop out. Unless you excavate you will never find out how to properly preserve waterlogged material
35. In situ preservation is a preferred initial option. Site disturbance is only justified within well planned research parameters, including adequate funding prior to disturbance
- and only with appropriate authorisation.
36. No reburials have been undertaken; work restricted to in situ recording and then covering of site.
121
Part C
C1. Regardless of whether or not in situ preservation or storage was used, do you or your organisation have a site monitoring plan to
site(s) you have investigated?
C1
Frequency
Percent
Yes
62
69.7%
No
19
21.3%
No Response
8
9.0%
89
100.0%
Total
122
C2. If you do monitor sites, do you have a formal schedule for this work?
C2
Frequency
Percent
Yes
13
18.6%
No
46
65.7%
No Response
Total
11
70
15.7%
100.0%
deployed material analog decay experiments (coupons arrayed as racks in open water and as spikes
in sediment to compare open water to subsurface decay expressions).
12. There is a schedule for the one wreck. Conservation staff have visited the site to attempt to
inspect. Other sites depend on finance, and that is never guaranteed into the future.
13. 2 times a year
If yes, how is it scheduled and what procedures does it entail?
1. I find difficult to answer this question, as the actual monitoring is
conducted by professional marine archaeologists working for the concerned
institution
2. Quarterly visits to site, using total station to monitor sediment changes over
time
3. Regular inspections and taking profiles across sites, though some
organisations I worked for didn't monitor
4. Viewing tide tables barometer stage of moon weather conditions aerial
observation
5. We do try to a regular interval based on availability of personnel and
weather.
6. It depends on the site; some are formally monitored while most are not
7. It varies from site to site, but for the most part, monitoring is based on site
condition and frequency and amount of site visitation
8. We have formally attempted to schedule up to 5 days per month monitoring
sites, though in reality this schedule is indeed dependent on factors such as
those listed above.
9. This varies form site to site - often it involved visual inspection of sediment
levels against markers at different points around the site, as well as
redrawing of survey plans and monitoring of wood. On particular sites,
monitoring devices are placed on them for particular periods (water and
current monitoring etc).
10. In a way however we do. However, politically we are struggling to get
enough funding and willingness to monitor in such a way
11. We deployed 1-year duration dataloggers for open-water-at-wrecksite
annual monitoring (currents, temperature, salinity, internal waves). We also
123
C3. Why do you monitor the site(s)?
Responses
C3
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
To ensure the integrity of the site 40
and for updating necessary site
plans
44.0%
66.7%
To ensure the integrity of the site 36
and monitor in situ preservation
or storage
39.6%
60.0%
Other
15
16.5%
25.0%
91
100.0%
151.7%
Total
Responses
11. To seek out sedimentation patterns, to prevent looting or provide warning signs of such activity
and others including storm action, beach replenishment dredging, etc.
12. To ensure the integrity of the site, and to plan interventions as required
13. To address the suitability of the wrecksite as an underwater museum
14. To collect data for developing improved storage/preservation methods
15. In an ideal world to provide for updating of plan
to ―Other‖
1. Department of Materials Conservation and Department of Maritime
Archaeology research programme
2. Combination of both along with cleaning of interpretive plaques
3. To monitor stability of site
4. To better understand in-situ processes
5. Reporting state of environment, collect newly exposed materials where
appropriate
6. To see whether conditions are suitable for diving on the 110 recorded
sailing wrecks on our 100 kilometre beach
7. Establish dynamic levels of the environment, especially sand movement
8. Sometimes under the terms of cooperative agreements to check for
vandalism.
9. Your wording needs work - you cannot 'ensure the integrity of the site',
merely record its demise
10. Our mandate as an agency is in situ preservation of sites for visitors now
and for years to come. We monitor sites to accomplish that mandate.
124
C4. What types of monitoring do you use on the site(s)? Check all that apply.
Responses
C4
N
Visual monitoring, including
photography, videography and
notes
Percent
Percent of
Cases
59
43.1%
100.0%
Materials sampling and analysis 24
17.5%
40.7%
Sediment sampling and analysis 21
15.3%
35.6%
Corrosion measurements
27
19.7%
45.8%
Other
6
4.4%
10.2%
137
100.0%
232.2%
Total
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Sediment depth monitoring
2. Restricted navigation zone
3. Side Scan sonar imagery. The visibility in our area generally
precludes video/photography.
4. Most often it is visual monitoring
5. Data logger, multibeam
6. Long-term materials decay testing
125
C5. What types of equipment do you use during your monitoring? Check all that apply.
6. Multibeam
Responses
C5
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Cameras and/or video equipment 52
50.5%
88.1%
Dipwells, in situ sampling and
subsequent analysis
15
24.6%
25.4%
Electrodes, in situ sampling and
subsequent analysis
26
25.2%
44.1%
None
3
2.9%
5.1%
Other
7
6.8%
11.9%
103
100.0%
174.6%
Total
7. Data loggers
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Total station, sediment cores
2. Visual inspection and measurements taken at control points around
site
3. Plastic rules
4. A number of other types of analysis and monitoring
5. Side scan sonar, and also attempts have been made (not always
successful) to install and monitor graduated poles to measure sand
movement
126
C6. Do you have monitoring equipment set up on site permanently?
C6
Frequency
Percent
Valid
Percent
Cumulative
Percent
Permanent On Site
Monitoring Equipment
5
7.1%
7.1%
7.1%
Single Use On Site
Monitoring Equipment
37
52.9%
52.9%
60.0%
Samples Collected and
Analysed Off Site
17
24.3%
24.3%
84.3%
No Response
11
15.7%
15.7%
100.0%
Total
70
100.0%
100.0%
127
C7. Are there any changes you would make to you current site monitoring processes? Explain briefly.
1. Not currently
2. We would like to make use of on site equipment to keep continual measurements of sediment changes, exposure etc. Unfortunately costs, expertise and available equipment
are prohibitive
3. More monitoring involving larger groups of avocational diving clubs
4. We should be monitoring ph, etc. but do not have staff.
5. Yes, I would like to install current and water temp etc monitoring equipment permanently
6. We would employ multi-beam sonar if we could afford it.
7. No
8. Formalise and undertake more regular monitoring - but constrained through lack of finances
9. We are currently undertaking a corrosion project which involves leaving introduced samples on site for a period of time, before removing and analysing them in the
laboratory.
10. If time, funds, staff and organisation allowed, there is scope to ensure that the system of site monitoring is more systematic than at present, with better recording systems.
11. Since these responses address numbers of sites, there are variations; one site had equipment left in situ for months, others are tested with single use and still others have
collection for analyses elsewhere; one answer does not fit all situations. My region is hampered by near zero visibility at all times so photography is extremely limited and
this limits many forms of monitoring.
12. It would be great to be able to record more and more often so we can record the destruction more accurately
13. Not at this time. Financially and practically, our current monitoring process is effective and efficient.
14. We would like to eventually re-install poles to measure sand movement as mentioned before; though our sites are dynamic enough to make this problematic (poles
disappear or get dislocated). More effort can be made for more regular monitoring visits, though the number of sites and duties in the office are always challenging.
15. They vary from site to site.
16. Methodology would be slightly different and more environmental parameters would be included in the study.
17. Yes, it would be a more formal planned process
18. Next time use Hypnos sampler for redox measurement.
128
19. I have not been in the department for some years when I became Director of the museum. Since then I have been writing books. The site monitoring is carried out
primarily by the Conservation staff. The biggest challenge is that all governments change, and during those changes funding for matters like regular monitoring comes
under pressure.
20. Depending upon the site some parameters are ideally measured ex situ but others should be monitored for longer periods - the problem we have is obtaining funding for
equipment.
21. No changes
22. A more formal and strict schedule is desired, but since that depends on personnel (often volunteers) and funds it is not possible at this time.
129
C8. If you or your organisation do not monitor sites, why? Check all that apply.
Responses
C8
Equipment and/or materials required 6
in preservation process are difficult to
access
Time constraints
11
10.5%
Percent of
Cases
33.3%
19.3%
61.1%
Insufficient professional personnel
available
Insufficient volunteer personnel
available
Insufficient training of current
9
15.8%
50.0%
4
7.0%
22.2%
N
Percent
4
7.0%
22.2%
personnel and/or volunteers
Internal policies of organisation
6
10.5%
33.3%
Governmental legislation
1
1.8%
5.6%
Governmental/agency permitting
difficulties
Financial
1
1.8%
5.6%
8
14.0%
44.4%
Didn‘t believe if was necessary
1
1.8%
5.6%
Other
6
10.5%
33.3%
57
100.0%
316.7%
Total
5. As a consulting/participating member of the project with no long-term ties, I can only
suggest monitoring (which I would) but I have no control over whether or not it is carried
out.
6. Sites are monitored on more or less ad hoc basis. Monitoring plans will be developed in
the near future
Responses to ―Other‖
1. Just now starting underwater program and training staff and
obtaining survey data. Periodic and post storm monitoring will be in
future plans.
2. Site to be buried under 3-4 m of dredge spoil.
3. The government employee avoided the issue
4. Government closed its doors tour institution.
130
C9. What, if anything, would convince you or your organisation to monitor sites in the future? Check all that apply.
Responses to ―Other‖
Responses
C9
N
Percent
Percent of
Cases
Better access to necessary equipment 9
and /or materials required for
preservation process
12.3%
52.9%
More time available for process
12
16.4%
70.6%
More professional personnel
available
8
11.0%
47.1%
More volunteer personnel available
6
8.2%
35.3%
Better training for professional
and/or volunteer personnel
5
6.8%
29.4%
New or updated internal policies
5
6.8%
29.4%
New or updated government
legislation
4
5.5%
23.5%
Permitting system with less
associated difficulties
3
4.1%
17.6%
More money available for projects
14
19.2%
82.4%
New research supporting the benefits 6
of in situ preservation/storage
8.2%
35.3%
Nothing could convince me of its
feasibility
0
0.0%
0.0%
Other
1
1.4%
5.9%
73
100.0%
429.4%
Total
1. I would and do recommend monitoring, but the nature of my work does not allow me to
carry this out or force my clients to carry out the recommendation.
131
Please make any additional comments you feel are important about site monitoring in the space below.
1. Site monitoring is important to help observe deterioration rates, help preserve integrity from public visitors, and monitor biological life on the site.
2. Our organisation relies heavily on visual monitoring and diver reports. Funds and lack of personnel make frequent or in depth monitoring difficult.
3. We have several large WWII vehicles. Vandalism and safety are concerns. Monitoring could identify changes that might create safety hazards and require some action.
Also, changing environmental conditions might expose additional material, such as unexploded ordnance, that would pose threat. We plan to include staff and volunteers to
monitor the resources. We will train volunteers to become site stewards. Local divers and operators are stakeholders in the resources and have expressed desire to help
preserve and protect the resources. An interpretive UW trail is planned. Monitoring will ensure that known resources (and visitors) are protected to the greatest extent
possible.
4. Avocational divers with maritime archaeology trained methodologies should perform the monitoring and send reports to their resident maritime archaeologist, these reports
should then be gathered a report made by archaeologist to government body of culture
5. Our biggest problem is lack of funding preventing sensible time on site and a limited equipment base and the fear of losing equipment left on site, which has happened in
the past
6. I think monitoring is essential for managing archaeological sites.
7. If we had the time and money it would be a very beneficial exercise...
8. Site monitoring usually falls under the responsibility of state or federal agencies. Unless it is part of a contractual obligation with a client it is not usually considered.
9. It should be done more, but there's so little time and money.
10. As reburial becomes more common practice a standardised framework for collection management in situ will need to be established. This will encompass issues such as
burying like with like, access and monitoring programs.
11. One of the main problems with site monitoring is the limits in terms of time and people that can be dedicated to fieldwork for site inspection/monitoring work. Even with
two field seasons a year, some sections of coastline may not be visited for over 5-10 years, or more. We very much rely on contacts with local divers to alert us of changes
in site stability.
12. Finances and personnel limit how much can realistically be done; as a program continues to find more and more sites, being able to monitor them all becomes increasingly
difficult to impossible for all but the most important or most vulnerable, even when one has a sizeable and active volunteer contingent.
13. It should be encouraged, so we need some working standards that all agencies can adopt.
14. Management of the Department including the Director need convincing it is an issue by any current maritime archaeologist employed. Underwater = out of site out of
mind
15. The involvement of volunteers groups is crucial on PWA sites - regular visits to so many sites by practitioners alone is not possible.
132
16. I suggest that you will get different answers from all who take part in this survey. Every site requires a different approach to in situ conservation. Hope this response is of
some use to you
17. 1. We used to have a site continuously monitored with a data logger; this proved to be too expensive and took much of labour. It did not give us that much more results
than measuring from time to time. 2. (C2) We would like to arrange a monitoring strategy for all sites. In a way we have through the site management plans. However, we
are still in the middle of a political fight to get enough funding to be able to execute an overall monitoring scheme. We claim for each site a strategy but it proofs to be
extremely difficult to be able to go on site when we want to. 3. We however, monitor specific sites each year with especially the multibeam sonar.
18. Our institution fully excavates its sites and conserves everything. The one wreck was an exception.
19. it's a question of having the right people on the spot and on staff in a paid capacity - otherwise it's too ad hoc and data is unreliable - we have sponsored a PhD student to
monitor sediment at the wreck and measure when pre-disturbance conditions inside the sediment are reached again and restored to pre-dist levels
20. To clarify... as a conservator in private practice who may be hired to carry out conservation within a specific time frame, I have no control over the actions of a client after
my term of employment with them has concluded. I make suggestions for long term care, but it is up to the client as to whether or not they follow the recommendations.
133
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