Open today: 10:00am - 5:30pm

Mary Rose Archaeological Services

Who are we?

At the Mary Rose Trust we have access to more maritime archaeological conservation capacity than any other facility in Europe, if not the world. As a result of our research with maritime museums and universities around the world, we can offer the archaeological community the latest organic waterlogged wood conservation technology. We have acquired unrivalled experience in a variety of fields, including:

  • Excavation of the Mary Rose hull, and over 19,000 artefacts, alongside detailed recording of associated archaeological information.
  • Conservation of the Mary Rose hull and the artefacts, which consist of both organic, inorganic and composite materials.
  • Creation of a purpose-built museum to display the collection, including planning, funding, designing and project management.
  • Design of the showcases, preparation of panel and caption copy, interactive and audio-visual displays and mount making.
  • Design and implementation of environmental monitoring systems for items both on display and in storage.
  • Development of scientific research programmes in a broad range of areas.
  • Experience of in-situ monitoring and preservation techniques for the Mary Rose wreck site.

Our conservation facility is based in Portsmouth and contains a range of treatments tanks that have capacity up to 25,000 litres. These are fully accessible with overhead gantries to manoeuvre items. We have 3 different sizes of freeze dryer available for use, including our largest which measures 6 metres in length and 1.5 metres in diameter.

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What can we offer?

We can provide the following archaeological services:

  • Management and stabilisation of maritime archaeological sites.
  • Archaeological recording.
  • Condition assessment of archaeological materials, including analysis techniques such as:
    • Microscopy
    • Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy
    • X-ray Fluorescence Spectroscopy
  • Determination of wood ID and associated properties such as density, moisture content.
  • A range of conservation treatments for inorganic, organic and composite waterlogged materials, including but not limited to:
    • Iron removal, PEG treatments and air or freeze drying of waterlogged organic materials
    • Desalination and drying of marine archaeological iron and other inorganic materials.
    • Surface treatments and reconstruction of inorganic and organic objects.
    • Pest control in objects through freezing techniques.
  • Advise on artefact storage/display environments.
  • Advise on environmental control systems and building management systems.
  • Advise on museum development including funding, planning, project management, design and interpretation.
  • Advise on material choice for display and storage of artefacts.
  • Learning, CPD and outreach.

Past projects

We have worked on a number of significant archaeological projects through the years, including:

  • Newport, medieval trading ship – Newport City Council
  • Galo Roman ship – Guernsey Museums
  • Bronze Age boat – Dover Museum
  • Seahenge – Lynn Museum
  • Fiskerton Iron Age logboat – Lincoln Archaeological Museum
  • Wickford Roman well casing – Southend Museum
  • The Bell of HMS Hood – National Museum of the Royal Navy
  • Various projects – Museum of London Archaeology

Contact us

If you would like more information on using our services please email [email protected] or phone Dr Eleanor Schofield or David Pearson on +44 (0)23 9275 0521.