In-situ preservation In Tropical Seas:
Case Study on the Avondster Shipwreck

Dublin Core

Title

In-situ preservation In Tropical Seas:
Case Study on the Avondster Shipwreck

Subject

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

Description

The VOC ship Avondster sunk on 2nd July 1659 when anchoring near the beach in Galle Bay, geographically located in the southern part of Sri Lanka. She was re-discovered in 1993 and subjected to a series of research projects including excavation in the bow, stern and mid-ship areas. Due to construction work in Galle Harbour it was important to protect the shipwreck in situ. The environment in the Galle Bay badly affected the wreck site and it was a big challenge to overcome all the harmful factors that were likely to damage the remains of Avondster.

In order to preserve Avondster a plastic net was introduced as a protective layer over the wreck site. This was monitored constantly throughout and after the research period. The protective layer was used over the fragile timbers for nearly 8 years before a violent tsunami hit Galle Bay in December 2004. Despite the serious damage caused on the land by the tsunami, it had less effect on the site and the covering-plastic net was still intact. From that time on monitoring has continued every two months.

This paper discusses in detail the present condition of the in situ protection and its validity as a preservation technique in the conditions found in tropical seas.

Creator

Chandraratne Wijamunige

Date

November 2011

Files

Citation

Chandraratne Wijamunige, “In-situ preservation In Tropical Seas: Case Study on the Avondster Shipwreck,” The MUA Collection, accessed December 15, 2017, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1250.

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