To ensure the highest possible standards of conservation, MAC will fund and operate a conservation laboratory where all recovered artefacts will be treated. In developing its’ plans MAC has engaged with the leading maritime archaeological experts in the world.

With experience in conserving artefacts from marine sites in many countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and across many different time periods from Neolithic times, through Roman, Saxon and Viking, to the Renaissance and early modern period.



Our conservation programme
will adhere to the ethics
of archaelogical conservation,

Minimal intervention to achieve the recovery of the maximum amount of information

Reversibility, that is, the conservation treatment can be reversed at a later date if necessary, without damage to the artefact in question

Only conservation-grade consolidants and materials will be used to prevent ongoing damage to artefacts undergoing treatment
No restoration will be carried out to artefacts. Where missing areas need to be replaced (i.e. to provide physical support to prevent ongoing damage) repairs will be affected using appropriate materials and colour matched such that the new repair remains clearly visible and the public aren’t misled into believing that the artefact is intact and complete.

Written conservation plans are prepared for each class of artefact/material types prior to starting interventive treatment.

Due regard will be given to future analyses/research potential, ensuring that interventive treatments will not prohibit research at a later date. The potential for research should be discussed with interested parties before interventive conservation commences.

A conservation record will be produced for every item undergoing treatment and digital images (including photographic scales) are taken before and after conservation. MAC will use a data base system to record each and every artefact recovered from the wreck.

Composite objects, i.e. those artefacts constructed from two or more materials (typically wood and iron) will be dealt with on a case by case basis, and prioritised for treatment where necessary.

Factors influencing their conservation treatment include the uniqueness of the artefact and the conservation needs of each of the material types present.

No physical intervention will commence on recovered marine concretions until they have been submitted to X-radiography in order to identify what is contained within the concreted mass. The resultant X-ray images will determine the subsequent conservation stages.