My Story
Summer at the QAR lab

Intern Angela talks about her experiences working at the lab this summer

Author: Angela Burr, Lab Intern

Angela cleaning a cask hoop
Angela working on a wooden cask hoop from Brunswick Town

My name is Angela Burr, and I interned this summer at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab for five weeks. I fell in love with archaeology and history at a young age, but it was not until my final year of undergraduate studies that I began to seriously pursue them. I went on to receive my Master’s degree in Classics from the University of Dallas, and I am currently pursuing a doctoral degree at Texas A&M University in Nautical Archaeology.

I am fascinated by ancient peoples’ relationship with the sea, especially their ritual and cult practices associated with seafaring. I attended the Balkan Heritage Field School in 2019. Our group worked to uncover ancient city fortifications at Nessebar, Bulgaria. There I learned basic underwater excavation techniques and really got the chance to hone my diving skills! After the structures were cleaned of detritus, we used photogrammetry to document their locations and layout. We also performed reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) on ancient ship iconography in the town’s churches. These depictions served to document the various ships seen coming into the city by its inhabitants. This technology is helpful in picking out shallow marks that can be hard to see when viewed with the naked eye. Since then, I have continued to dive, and I am working to finish my Divemaster certification through PADI.  

This summer, the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab was kind enough to host me and teach me conservation techniques. My time at the lab tremendously expanded my knowledge base of the conservation of artifacts from a submerged environment. I learned about solution testing, cleaning artifacts, and even how to break down a concretion. One of my special projects for the summer was cleaning a wooden cask hoop found at Brunswick Town, after it was treated with polyethylene glycol. The opportunity to spend time with the wider community and participate in public tours of the lab was especially exciting. I truly love getting to share archaeology and research with the public. I cannot thank the QAR team enough!

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