Micromorphological and chemical characteristics of waterlogged archaeological bamboo

Dublin Core


Micromorphological and chemical characteristics of waterlogged archaeological bamboo


Session 7
Preservation and conservation of wet archaeological materials and site management


Waterlogged archaeological bamboo works such as bamboo slips and bamboo baskets, etc. were unearthed during excavations of the Mado shipwreck No. 1 excavation in 2009. Despite the number of bamboo artefacts recovered from underwater sites, the characteristics and conservation of waterlogged archeological bamboo unearthed from the sea have not been studied sufficiently.

Following examinations of waterlogged archaeological bamboo using optical, scanning electron and transmission electron microscopy, it was found that waterlogged archaeological bamboo has been invaded by soft rot fungi and erosion and tunneling bacteria. This is similar to the usual micromorphological decay characteristics of waterlogged archaeological wood. Unlike waterlogged wood however, waterlogged bamboo demonstrated differences in aspects of decay in the interlayer structure of the fibre cell and in the degree of decay, depending on the parts of the bundle sheath examined.

Chemical analyses suggested that, as in waterlogged archaeological wood, cellulose and hemicellulose were significantly degraded and the content of lignin was relatively high in waterlogged bamboo.


Mi Young CHA


November 2011



Mi Young CHA, “Micromorphological and chemical characteristics of waterlogged archaeological bamboo,” The MUA Collection, accessed November 14, 2018, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1206.

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