25th Annual Meeting of the European Association of Archaeologists

David Gregory (Participant), Quinn, R. (Participant), Henning Matthiesen (Participant), Mogens Dam (Participant), Gert Normann (Participant)

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Description

YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’VE GOT TILL IT’S GONE: PRESERVATION AND DETERIORATION OF HISTORIC SHIPWRECKS

Author(s): Gregory, David (The National Museum of Denmark) - Quinn, Rory (University of Ulster) - Matthiesen, Henning (The National Museum of Denmark) - Dam, Mogens - Normann, Gert (Sea War Museum Jutland)

Presentation Format: Oral

UNESCO estimate that there are over three million shipwrecks lying on the bottom of the world’s seas and oceans. International (UNESCO, 2001; ICOMOS, 1996) and European (Valletta, 1992) legislation all advocate that underwater cultural heritage should, where possible, be protected in situ. However, such legislation cannot protect underwater cultural heritage from the potential ravages of nature. Since their time of sinking, shipwrecks will be exposed to a multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes, as well as cultural impacts that will affect their preservation. It is thus essential to be able to assess the effect the natural environment has had and will have on shipwrecks in the future should they be preserved in situ. This paper will present an ongoing project to investigate the preservation of wrecks in the North sea. The project draws on an unprecedented multibeam echosounder dataset of over 400 wrecks. The ultimate goal of the project is to correlate the observed seabed distribution of these wrecks with natural and cultural formation processes in a GIS platform in order to better understand the deterioration of shipwrecks and facilitate the future preservation and management of this resource.
Period4 Sep 2019 - 7 Sep 2019
Event typeConference
LocationBern, Switzerland