Characterizing the Preservation Potential of Buried Marine Archaeological Sites

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The preservation potential of sediments from a submerged prehistoric site buried in a fullmarine environment was assessed using a combination of direct in situ measurements, measurementson extracted sediment cores and laboratory mesocosm experiments. The results show that first andforemost it is paramount to ascertain the state of preservation of the materials in the seabed—in thiscase wooden artifacts—that are to be preserved in situ. The results suggest that dissolved oxygen andsulfide are good parameters to measure in situ to assess the general oxidizing or reducing nature ofthe environment. If it is possible to take sediment core samples, it is similarly important to measuredissolved oxygen and hydrogen sulfide in the core and extract pore water to assess for sulfate content.Sediments should be characterized for particle size, water content (porosity) and organic content.In this way, we show that dissolved oxygen was rapidly depleted in the first few centimeters ofsediment, thereafter sulfate reduction dominated the geochemical processes. Coarser sediment typeswith high porosity and low organic content have lower rates of organic material turnover, indicatingbetter preservation conditions
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)838-857
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 20 jul. 2020