Karen Martindale received her BA in Anthropology from Rice University in 2011 and her MA in Anthropology from Texas A&M University in 2015. While attending Texas A&M, she specialized in artifact conservation and worked at the Conservation Research Laboratory as a graduate assistant. At the CRL, she conserved artifacts from a variety of maritime and terrestrial projects, including La Belle and USS Westfield, and has worked on the CSS Georgia Project, both in the field and in the lab. After graduating, she worked as a conservator at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Shipwreck Project in North Carolina, conserving artifacts from Blackbeard’s flagship.
While she has worked with a diverse range of artifact types, sizes, and materials, she most enjoys working with smaller, more personal items. Her 2015 thesis, “The Accelerated Degradation of Conserved Waterlogged Wood,” compared the potential long-term effects of the environment on different conservation treatments for waterlogged wood. The same year, she presented a poster at the annual conference for the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) on the reconstruction of several wood casks from La Belle. In 2017, she co-presented on the buttons from the site of CSS Georgia at the annual SHA conference, which will be included as a chapter of the CSS Georgia final report. In 2018, she presented on the identification and conservation of 17th century pocket watch components from Queen Anne’s Revenge at the annual SHA conference and at the Mid-Atlantic Archaeological Conference.
The CRL works with a variety of academic institutions, museums, historical societies, government offices, and private individuals. Our goal is to create viable conservation strategies of the highest standard that can be accomplished at minimal cost. For more information, visit our services page.
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