Maritime Studies Conservation Laboratory
The Maritime Studies Conservation Laboratory at ECU operates under the direction of Dr. Brad Rodgers, Maritime Studies Professor of Archaeology/ Conservation and author of, The Archaeologist's Manual for Conservation, A Guide to Non-Toxic, Minimal Intervention Artifact Stabilization
. The state of the art conservation facility has successfully operated in the field of contract and project archaeological conservation for over 20 years. The laboratory offers a wide range of conservation services including the stabilization and preservation of archaeologically recovered artifacts from both terrestrial and underwater projects. The laboratory staff can also provide material fabrication analysis of wood, iron, copper and alloys, miscellaneous metals, ceramics, glass, stone, textiles, and organics other than wood. The laboratory specializes in safe non-toxic conservation methods using minimal intervention procedures in order to achieve artifact stabilization while leaving artifacts safe to handle. These services include:
- Stabilization of archaeological materials for curation or long-term storage.
- Packaging, dehydration, and pH protection of artifacts for long-term storage.
- Chloride removal, cleaning, dehydration, and protective coating of metals.
- Micro excavation, with wear and manufacture analysis of specified artifacts.
- Reversible and environmentally ethical conservation procedures.
Department of Anthropology- Artifact Collections Conservation
East Carolina University:
When complete this project will make the ECU Anthropology Laboratory the first university laboratory in the country with a fully stabilized collection.
USS Monitor Advisory Committee - Mariner's Museum, Norfolk, VA.
2002 - present
Consultant for the setup of 67 ton Chief Wawatam Triple Expansion Steam Engine, Wisconsin State Maritime Museum.
Windfield Scott Archaeological Site - Artifact Conservation, National Park Service.
Fully loaded 16th century cannon
(On loan to Elizabeth II State Historic Site)
Unloading a cannon can be tricky business. This late 16th century falcon posed many obstacles to treatment but eventually revealed a full load of grape and round shot encased within a canvas bag. The powder from this 400 year old cannon was still dry.
Santa Elena 16th Century Archaeological Site (Artifact Conservation, South Carolina Institute of Anthropology and Archaeology)
The Santa Elena site offered the earliest historic artifacts yet conserved at the ECU laboratory. Yet prehistoric artifacts are subject to the same breakdown and decomposition that afflicts historic artifacts and must be stabilized before long term storage.
Produced wood analysis and treatment procedures for the stabilization of gunport covers of this unusual French and Indian War era warship.
This French and Indian War vessel may be the earliest purpose built warship in North America. The Gun port lid (pictured) offered peculiar obstacles to conservation n the form of iron stains imbedded in the wood. These stains left on any organic material, cloth, or wood, will eventually break down the artifact.
Norfolk Naval Museum - 18 th century ship’s anchor.
Virginia Commonwealth - Revolutionary War artifacts.
For more information and Contract Estimates, please contact:
Bradley A. Rodgers, PhD
Professor of Archaeology and Conservation
Program in Maritime Studies
Admiral Ernest M. Eller House
302 E. 9th St. Greenville , NC 27858-4353