Conservation Reports

Conservation of artifacts recovered from the marine environment, such as at the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck site, requires highly trained professional conservators with talent and knowledge, who are willing to adapt to varying conditions. While there are general formulas for the whole range of materials that enter the conservation laboratory, artifacts are often complex and have been subjected to varying conditions. Treatment needs for each artifact vary accordingly and conservators adjust equipment, methods, and preservation chemicals to address specific conditions.

After artifacts pass through the conservation process they are documented and analyzed by archaeologists. Registrars complete extensive records on where each artifact was recovered, its condition, the conservation procedures utilized during cleaning and stabilization, and its physical characteristics using a battery of tests and measurements.

This information is entered into the Department of Cultural Resources’ artifact database at the Office of State Archaeology Research Center in Raleigh. Artifacts from the Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck site are then transferred to the North Carolina Maritime Museum artifact repository where they will be kept in long-term storage and made available for public exhibit and future research.