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Well-preserved shipwrecks from the Baltic Sea – a new perspective

Chapter in book
Authors Yvonne Fors
Charlotte Björdal
Published in Interpretation of Shipwrecks. (Eds. J. Rönnby, J. Adams). Södertörn Academic Studies 56, Southampton Archaeology Monographs New Series No. 4
Pages Ch. 4: 36-45
ISBN 978-91-86069-80-3
Publisher The Highfield Press Southampton
Place of publication Southampton, UK.
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Conservation
Pages Ch. 4: 36-45
Language en
Subject categories Biological Sciences, Analytical Chemistry, Archaeology


The cold brackish water of the Baltic Sea is well known for its unique properties that preserve marine archaeological material. However, the biological activity and chemical mechanisms that take place in such waterlogged wood has consequences for their future conservation and even for their mechanical stability. The most famous example of a wooden shipwreck suffering from the effects of such interactions is the Swedish warship Vasa (1628), but similar mechanisms create conservation challenges for shipwrecks worldwide. One of the most recent examples of a seemingly excellently preserved 17th century shipwreck in the Baltic Sea is the so-called Ghost Ship or Ghost wreck (Spökvraket) (Fig. 4.1). This article will focus on the biological and chemical action underwater that might be affecting the wood of the Ghost Ship. It is also hoped to explain the potential gains on offer to marine archaeologists, conservators and scientists alike, when undertaking collaborative projects in cultural heritage research at sea.

Page Manager: Webmaster|Last update: 9/11/2012

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