University of Gothenburg
Diver at shipwreck.
Photo: Charlotte Björdal

Preservation of Marine Cultural Heritage

At Conservation and Preservation of Marine Cultural Heritage, we study shipwrecks and archaeological wood. Besides cultural heritage wood from marine environments, we also study archaeological wood that originates from waterlogged areas on land, such as foundation poles beneath historical buildings, and wrecks in terrestrial environments.

In order to understand the decay processes and their interaction with the environment, long-term and short term laboratory experiments as well as field experiments is an important part of our research. With access to advanced equipped laboratory facilities as well as access to the novel research vessel, our ability to perform unique interdisciplinary and cross disciplinary research in cooperation with national and international researchers are unique.

Research Areas within Preservation of Marine Cultural Heritage

  • Conservation and long-term preservation of shipwreck ex-situ and in situ
  • Assessment of wood decay; marine borers, state of degradation; strategies for long term monitoring of sites; methods for protection in situ; CEN/SIS standardisation related to management and assessment of waterlogged archaeological wood
  • Microbial degradation of wood
  • Bacterial degradation, fungal degradation. Microbial biodiversity and wood decay
  • Environmental processes related to shipwreck degradation in situ
  • Sedimentology, oceanography, geochemistry, biochemistry and microbial processes and interactions
  • Other wood-related areas of interest:
  • Foundation poles, marine poles, wood durability, terrestrial archaeological sites, storage of waterlogged wood