Karen Martindale

Research Assistant

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.



Contract Services

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.

About Us


Monetary donations and volunteer workers are vital to the ongoing success of the Conservation Research Laboratory. If you would like to volunteer your time and expertise, please contact us here. If you would like to become one of our donors, please click the link below and direct your gift to: Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation.

Technical Reports

Report No. 1 Silicone and Polymer Technologies: An Additional Tool in Conservation

Report No. 2 Re-treatment of PEG Treated Waterlogged Wood

Report No. 3 Re-Treatment of a PEG Treated Composite Artifact - A Sabot

Report No. 4 Conservation of Waterlogged Leather Using Polymers

Report No. 5 Silicone Oil: A New Technique for Preserving Waterlogged Rope

Report No. 6 Conservation of 17th Century Canvas Using Silicone Oils

Report No. 7 Silicone Bulking of Waterlogged Cork Using PS340, PS341 and PS343 Silicone Oils

Report No. 8 Conservation of Waterlogged Corn Cobs Using Silicone Oils

Report No. 9 Consolidation of Formalin Treated Marine Crustacean Specimens Using Silicone Oils

Report No. 10 Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL) Leather Dressing

Report No. 11 Mass Spectrographic Analysis of Out Gasses Created From The Dehydration of Archaeological Wood Samples

Report No. 12 Preservation of a Dog Heart Using Silicone Oils

Report No. 13 Preservation of a Dog Heart Using Silicone Oils: A Second Approach

Report No. 14 Preservation of Kelp Specimens

Report No. 15 Conservation of Devitrified Glass with Methylhydrocyclosiloxanes and Silicone Oils

Report No. 16 Polymerization of Polyethylene Glycol and Glycerine

Report No. 17 Polymerization Potentials of Polyethylene Glycol Compounds Commonly Used in Archaeological Artifact Conservation

Report No. 18 Polymerization of PR-10, PR-12 and PR-14 Silicone Oils In Animal Hides Using Catalyst Fumes - Keratin and Amino Acid Cross Linking

Report No. 19 Polymerization of Archaeological Waterlogged Wood Treated With Polyethylene Glycol

Report No. 20 Comparison of the Bulking Abilities of Polyethylene Glycol 1450 and PS341 Silicone Monomers--In progress--

Report No. 21 Tanning of Animal Hides Using Silicone Oils--In progress--

Report No. 22 Induced Flash Polymerization Using Low Neutron Flux Radiation-In progress