Conservation Research Laboratory
Nautical Archaeology Program
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas 77843-4352
The Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL), directed by Dr. Donny L. Hamilton, is one of the oldest continuously operated conservation laboratories that deals primarily with archaeological material from shipwrecks and other underwater sites. Operating under the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation, CRL plays an important role in the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University (TAMU), and works closely with all of the excavation projects of the TAMU-affiliated Institute of Nautical Archaeology. In fact, students are a big part of the work done at CRL. It is a great place to gain practical experience in conservation science.
CRL deals with archaeological projects year-round and consists of two laboratories: one is used primarily to teach conservation classes to students at TAMU; it is also equipped to conduct conservation of small inorganic and organic artifacts. The second laboratory has recently been enlarged to accommodate bigger projects. In 1995, we established the Archaeological Preservation Research Laboratory, which is devoted to developing new conservation technologies.
All kinds of artifacts are treated at CRL, from those made of iron, copper, brass, or pewter to those of wood, leather, glass, or ceramic. We are currently conserving an extensive collection of material recovered from the 17th-century sunken city of Port Royal, Jamaica. The laboratory has also undertaken the monumental task of treating all of the material recovered from the Belle, a 17th-century French ship that wrecked in Matagorda Bay on the Texas coast in 1686. In addition to these large projects, CRL conserves artifacts for small archaeological organizations. We also treat artifacts recovered from terrestrial sites. To find out more about these projects, check out the links above.
Click here to view photos from the recent visit by the spouses of the Chancellor, Board of Regents, and CEOs of the Texas A&M University System.
Related Links:Texas Historical Commission (THC)