Principal Investigator: Eric Shindelholz (currently with the National Park Service)
Organization: The Mariners’ Museum
Abstract: A new preservation technique involving the use of supercritical fluids to dry waterlogged archaeological wood will be investigated and compared to current preservation treatments. Exploratory research has demonstrated supercritical drying to be an advantageous alternative to current methods of drying waterlogged wood, through reduced processing times and minimal shrinkage. The proposed study will methodically evaluate the physical effects of supercritical drying of waterlogged archaeological wood compared to air-drying and the popular polyethylene glycol/freeze-drying method. This research will lay the necessary groundwork from which to scale up the supercritical drying technique for use on larger archaeological artifacts.