Paul  Mardikian

Senior Conservator H.L. Hunley Project and Radiation Safety Officer


Office: 843-730-5089

M.S. in Conservation Sciences and Techniques from the Sorbonne University in 1991.

M.A. in Archaeology and Art History from the School of the Louvre in Paris in 1989

Paul has over 25 years of international experience in cultural heritage preservation, and extensive experience with complex conservation programs requiring a multidisciplinary approach and international collaboration. Paul has expertise in the conservation of marine, terrestrial and industrial cultural heritage, including large-scale and composite objects, conservation management plans, preventive conservation, X-radiography, freeze-drying, molding and casting, conservation outreach and fund raising. Since 1988 he has played a critical role in the conservation of the artifacts from the CSS Alabama (1864) in collaboration with the US Navy’s Naval History & Heritage Command Underwater Archaeology Branch. Paul is currently Senior Conservator for the H.L. Hunley Project, a position he has held since 1999, where he leads a group of conservators and collaborates with scientific colleagues in efforts to research and stabilize archaeological iron and other waterlogged materials. Paul lectures in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation for the College of Charleston/Clemson University. He is also a guest lecturer for various graduate conservation-training programs in the United States. Paul has been an invited speaker for numerous cultural organizations including UNESCO, ICOM-CC, and the French and Finnish Ministries of Culture. In 2010 he was Conference Program Chair, Co-editor and member of the Organizing Committee for METAL 2010, the interim meeting of the ICOM-CC Metal Working Group that was held in Charleston, SC.

Research interest:
Treatment of waterlogged composite objects, mass and/or large scale treatments, conservation of light metals, application of subcritical and supercritical fluids for the stabilization of cultural heritage, preventive conservation.

Blouin, V.Y., P. Mardikian, C. Watters, ‘Finite Element Analysis of the H.L. Hunley Submarine: A Turning Point in the Project’s History’, Metal 2010, Proceedings of the Interim Meeting of the ICOM-CC Metal Working Group, Charleston, South Carolina, USA, 11-15 October 2010, ed. P. Mardikian, C. Chemello, C. Watters, P. Hull, Clemson University (2011) (393-399).

Mardikian, P., González, N., Drews, M. J., de Viviés, P., (2006) ‘New Perspectives Regarding the Stabilization of Terrestrial and Marine Archaeological Iron’ In: Iron, Steel & Steamship Archaeology, Proceedings of the 2nd Australian Seminar, Australian National Center of Excellence of Maritime Archaeology, Fremantle, Australia, (2009) 113-118.

de Viviés, P., Cook, D., Drews, M.J., Gonzalez, N., Mardikian, P., Memet, J.B., (2007) ‘Transformation of Akaganéite in Archaeological Iron Artifacts using Subcritical Treatment’, Metal 2007, Proceedings of the Interim Meeting of the ICOM-CC Metal Working Group, Amsterdam, 17-21 September 2007, ed. C. Degrigny, R. van Langh, I, Joosten, B, Ankersmit, Vol. 5 (2007) 26 -30.

Mardikian, P., Drews, M. J., González, N. G., de Vivies, P., (2006) ‘H.L Hunley Conservation Plan’ Edited by James Hunter, III. Submitted to the US Navy’s Naval History & Heritage Command Underwater Archaeology Branch after peer review. 172 p.

Mardikian, P., (2004) “Conservation and Management Strategies Applied to Post-Recovery Analysis of the American Civil War Submarine H.L. Hunley (1864)”. The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (2004) 33 (1) 137-148.

Professional society activity:
Assistant Coordinator, International Council of Museums Committee for Conservation (ICOM-CC) Metal Working Group, 2008-current.

The American Institute for Conservation of Historic & Artistic Works (AIC)

Underwater Archaeology Advisory Committee for the Ironclad USS Monitor, Mariners' Museum, Newport News, Virginia, USA. 2002-current.

Honors and awards:
Paul was awarded grants from the French Fondation Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet pour la vocation and the Fondation de France to complete his M.S. thesis which was based on research undertaken at Parks Canada on composite artifacts. An additional prestigious grant from the Fondation Electricité de France enabled post-graduate study and research in cultural heritage preservation and conservation at the Western Australia Maritime Museum in Australia, where he was an Honorary Research Fellow under Dr Ian D. MacLeod.