Waterlogged Archaeological Corks Drying
Waterlogged Bungs from the San Juan
Waterlogged corks from the San Juan, a Spanish Basque Whaler that sank in the fall of 1565 in Red Bay, Labrador, Canada were excavated by Parks Canada between 1979 and 1985. The corks were conserved using supercritical CO2 Drying process at the WLCC. Their dimensional changes during treatment were monitored using Structured-Light 3D scanning. The WLCC is the only laboratory in the United States using this innovative conservation process and structured light scanning to document the treated artifacts.
All the cork diagnostic features were well preserved and enhanced by the SC-CO2 treatment
All dried specimens are structurally sound with a stable post-treatment weight
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Parks Canada Cork 3D Comparison pre and post conservation
Parks Canada Corks before and after Supercritical CO2 drying
Waterlogged composite cork from the Queen Anne’s Revenge
The WLCC received from the Queen Anne’s Revenge (1718) a green glass bottleneck shard of an early 18th century case flacon bottle still containing the cork. The bottleneck shard was removed from a large concretion that was attached to the side of a cannon recovered from the mid-ship area of the site, during an October 1998 excavation by the Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Project, Underwater Archaeology Branch. The cork represents the first successful conservation of such a composite artifact ever reported with no visible shrinkage.