Ongoing Work

All artifacts recovered from the Mardi Gras Shipwreck were transported to the Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL) at Texas A&M Univeristy in College Station, TX. CRL is one of several laboratories CRL is one of several laboratories of the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation (CMAC).  CRL Conservators have been working with the artifacts and stern encrustation since their arrival at the lab in May, 2007.  This page is designed to present the most current conservation work performed on the artifacts.

Conservation Treatment of the Stern Encrustation

During conservation treatment, the stern encrustation is housed within a specially-constructed tank filled with water.  Static baths will help decrease the salinity of the encrustation and the artifacts within.  Periodically, the encrustation is lifted from the vat for further work.  While work is performed, the encrustation must be kept wet to prevent the artifacts from drying out.
Raising the Encrustation
Raising the Encrustation
Above, the stern encrustation is lifted from the vat by a conservator at the Conservation Research Laboratory To prevent the encrustation and the associated artifacts from drying out while conservation work is performed, the encrustation must be covered.  Here, fabric which has been soaked is used to cover areas of the encrustation which are not currently being investigated.
Raising the Encrustation Raising the Encrustation

Above: Pneumatic air scribes are used to excavate areas of the encrustation.  In the photo at left, a conservator works on the encrustation while another air scribe is visible in the foreground. 

 

Right: X-rays of the encrustation give conservators an idea of the types of artifacts contained within. Here, two conservators work on different areas of the encrustation.

Results of Encrustation Excavation

As excavation is carried out on the encrustation, artifacts become visible from underneath the associated layers of concretion. X-rays and pneumatic tools are used to chisel out the artifacts, which are documented and photographed.

At right, a conservator works in an area containing two round shot, or cannonballs.
The locations of all artifacts must be documented as excavation continues.  
Raising the Encrustation
Raising the Encrustation

A close-up of the round shot shows their placement within the encrustation.  The area surrounding the artifacts has been carefully excavated, but the shot will remain in place, pending further investigation.
Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University  |   College of Liberal Arts  |   Location

Citation Information:
Donny L. Hamilton
2007, Mardi Gras Shipwreck Project-On-going work, URL, http://nautarch.tamu.edu/mardigras, Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation, Texas A&M University.

This page is maintained by the staff of the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation, Conservation Research Laboratory, Texas A&M University (crl@tamu.edu). The contents of this site - text, images, and data - are intended for personal information only. Downloading of information or graphic images contained herein for private use is not discouraged; however, written permission from the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation is required for the publication of any material. Any use of this information should credit the Center for Marimtime Archaeology and Conservation. For additional details, contact Kevin Crisman ( kcrisman@tamu.edu ) or Donny L. Hamilton (dlhamilton@tamu.edu). Last updated: Monday, 10-Oct-2011 18:19:47 CDT