Conservation of Marine Archaeological Objects by Colin Pearson

By Colin Pearson

Over the last 20 years there was an important bring up in underwater actions comparable to scuba diving which, coupled with the journey andromance constantly linked to shipwrecks, has resulted in speedy advancements within the discovery and excavation of shipwrecked fabric. those shipwrecks are useful archaeological 'time capsules', which in themajoriety of circumstances have come to an equilibrium with their atmosphere. once artefacts at the smash web site are moved, this equilibrium is disturbed, and the artefacts might begin to become worse, occasionally in a speedy and devastating model. actually excavation with no need conservation amenities on hand is vandalism--the artefacts are a lot more secure being left at the sea mattress. Such well-known shipwrecks because the Mary Rose (1545), the Wasa (1628) and the Batabia (1629) haven't simply introduced the world's recognition to those specified unearths, yet have additionally produced super conservation difficulties. The remedy of a 30 metre waterlogged wood hull or huge forged iron cannon continues to be inflicting complications to conservators

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Because keratin is intercellular the tensile strength of the tissue is largely dependent on the intracellular cementing material. It is this cementing material which forms a continuous network through the sys­ tem. The cementing material withstands strong reducing agents and hydrogen bond breakers which normally dissolve keratin. The cementing matrix is suggested to be a quinone-tanned protein which is the most resistant form of protein known. The cell membranes of the keratinized cells may have inter­ locking folds which also contribute to the mechanical properties of the whole structure.

When hair is burnt, the sulphur odour comes from the sulphur in the cystein disulphide bonds. 33 Microfibril organization X-ray diffraction patterns of the alpha-keratin sug­ gest a coiled coil rope structure. Electron micro­ graphs suggest that several coiled coil ropes form a microfibril with a ring core. It has been suggested63 that the microfibril is made up of two types of pro­ teins, a low sulphur protein in the helical sections and a high sulphur protein in the matrix surrounding these helical sections.

It is suggested that because of the insolubility of lignin it is chemically bound to the hemicelluloses. Lignin and carbohydrate polymers in the cell wall protect each other by excluding solvents or at least retarding their entrance. In woods with hemicellulose loss, the lignin is exposed to chemical change. Analyses of waterlogged woods usually show a decrease in hemicelluloses. 39 It is also the precursor of coal. Hemicellulose Structure and organization Lignin is made up of a group of similar, very large amorphous aromatic polymers with little opportu­ Location and function Hemicelluloses are located in all layers of the cell wall.

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