14th ICOM-CC Wet Organic Archaeological Materials (WOAM) Working Group Conference

Monday 20th – Friday 24th May 2019

Portsmouth, UK

The Working Group Wet Organic Archaeological Materials (WOAM) is concerned with the degradation and conservation of organic archaeological objects found in fresh or salt water, or during excavation of wetland or damp sites. The group is also working with in-situ conservation, reburial, and site surveys, as well as post-conservation treatments of objects of organic archaeological materials.

The 14th ICOM-CC WOAM conference is jointly organised between the Mary Rose Trust and Historic England. The main venue for the conference is the Portland Building, University of Portsmouth.

As well as the conference program, there will be the opportunity to go behind the scenes and visit the conservation facilities of the Mary Rose Trust as well as Historic England.

There will also be a social program (included in the conference fee), the opportunity to enjoy the Historic Dockyard attractions and a field-trip (not included in the conference fee).

Please check the News tab for updates and conference news. 

Use #WOAM2019 for updates on social media


Portland Building, University of Portsmouth

Date & Time

Monday 20 May - Friday 24 May, 2019 

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Conference Program

Please find the preliminary conference agenda below OR to download and view here.  Please note that the organising committee reserves the right to change the line-up prior to the publication of the final schedule.

Monday 20th May

08:00 - 09:00

Registration Opens

09:00 - 09:25

Introductions & welcome

09:25 - 09:50

From the sea bottom to the surface: assessing underwater techniques for lifting waterlogged archaeological wooden objects.

H. Bardas and A. Pournou

09:50 - 10:15

On wooden foundations: evaluating an in-situ conservation strategy for the Viking Age trade settlement in Rostock Dierkow

R. Kuiter et al.

10:15 - 10:45


10:45 - 11:10

Standardizing methods for assessing the condition of archaeological artifacts

K. High

11:10 - 11:35

Spectroscopic studies of Organic Artifacts from the Mary Rose

L. Jordan, A. Quye, E. Schofield and S. Corr

11:35 - 12:00

From promising theories to praxis: conservation of a large oak barque stern with D-Mannitol

K. Straetkvern, T. Karlsen, j. Ebsen, L. Jensen, P. Jensen. A. Petersen, A. Moesgaard, J. Bruun Jensen, J. Aagard, R. Pedersen, and N. Bjerregaard Pedersen

12:00 - 13:30


13:30 - 13:45

Sharing practices through a collaborative web space on the conservation and restoration of waterlogged archaeological wood

G. Lemoine, C. Pelé-Meziani, G. Baron, S. Labroche, E. Guilminot

13:55 - 14:20

Further studies on bio-based polymers as consolidants for waterlogged archaeological wood and non-wood organicsFrom promising theories to praxis: conservation of a large oak barque stern with D-Mannitol

Z. Walsh-Korb and L. Averous

14:20 - 14:45

Utilization of amorphization: Trehalose conservation of vulnerable archaeological objects

Ito et al

14:45 - 15:00

Comparison of different commonly used consolidants for waterlogged wood: time consumption and properties of consolidated materials

K. Kavkler

15:00 - 15:30


15:30 - 15:45

Creation of a center for archaeological artifacts conservation in Kiev, Ukraine

S. Anzhyiak et al

15:45 - 16:00

Measuring maximum water content of waterlogged wood through thermogravimetry: a comparison with normal methods

D. Shen, X. Gu, Q. Cheng, X. Tian, N. Li, J. Du, K. Yuan, and N. Macchioni

16:00 - 16:15

Research on the dehydration of the waterlogged archaeological wood from Xiaobaijao No 1 Shipwreck

Z. Zhang, R. Li, X. Wan, and T. Jin

16:15 - 16:30

Saggy bowls and crushed containers: the conservation of a group of Medieval wooden bowls and spice canisters.

L. Duarte and L. Goodman

16:30 - 17:45

Poster Presentations

Bickerton; Elam and Bjordal, Hazell; Majka; Tjellden; Schmidt-Ott; Brather; Brather; Albrecht-Kramer; Mahapol; Grayson; Hagele -Masnick; Fejfer; Goodman and Duarte

Tuesday 21st May

09:00 - 09:25

The deterioration and conservation of a pelt fragment from a Medieval context

P. Edqvist and C. Steindal

09:25 - 09:50

Using mixtures of low and high molecular weight polyethylene glycol to conserve archaeological leather

J. Brunn Jensen

09:50 - 10:15

Two hats too many? An investigation of leather from the wreck of the HMS Stirling Castle

A. Middleton. I. Hovmand, and D. Sommer

10:15 - 10:45


10:45 - 11:10

Adventures in basketry

Tara Grant

11:10 - 11:35

Learning from the past: studying the reversability of conservation agents in archaeological bast fibres

I Stelzner et al. 

11:35 - 12:00

Caulking textiles from the Lyon Saint-George 4 shipwreck : recording and conservation questions

L. Meunier and M. Guyon

12:00 - 13:30


13:30 - 13:55

Navigating the challenges of the changing demands and needs of small finds museum / archive storage: the case of a collection of conserved wet archaeological textiles

E. Peacock

13:55 - 14:20

Piecing together history: conservation of a wool coat from USS Monitor

E. Sangouard and W. Hoffman

14:20 - 14:45

Conservation of ropes from the Phanom-Surin Shipwreck Site, Thailand

S. Mahapol

14:45 - 15:10

Conservation of waterlogged ivory: the effects of glycerol on drying

I. Godfrey, K. Kasi and G. Turner-Walker

15:10 - 15:40


15:40 - 15:55

Hanging by a thread: the effect of PEG treatment on the tensile properties of waterlogged archaeological rope from the London

M. Creed et al.

15:55- 16:10

Wax items and a leather jacket: a glimpse of the late Medieval town of Nya Lödöse in Sweden

I. Nyström Godfrey and M. Skogbert

16:10 - 16:25

How do you treat tinder fungus? The conservation of waterlogged archaeological Polypore fungi

T. Nyborg

16:25 - 16:50

Whitehorse Hill-A Bronze Age cist burial

H. Williams

16:50 - 17:45

Poster Presentations

Dittus; Evans et al; Masson-Maclean; Lucejko et al; Labroche; Bogatova; Reyer;  Lucejko et al; Jagielska; Fierro-Mircovich; Rivera

Wednesday 22nd May

09:00 - 09:25

Comparative chemical investigations of alum treated archaeological wood from different museum collections

J. Lucejko, M. sahlstedt, C. McQueen, F. Modugno, and S. Braovac

09:25 - 09:50

Unexpected ammonium compounds in alum-treated wood from the Oseberg collection

C. McQueen, S. Braovac, J. Lucejko, and F. Modugno

09:50 - 10:15

Re-treatment testing of alum-treated woods from the Oseberg collection-results from the first trails

M. Sahlstedt, M. Wittkopper and S. Braovac

10:15 - 10:45


10:45 - 11:10

Investigation of natural polymers for treatments of Oseberg artifacts-review of lab degraded and archaeological wood

J. Wakefield, C. Steindal, E. Piva, R. Stockman, G. Adams, T. Heinze, S. Braovac and S. Harding

11:10 - 11:35

Bio-based treatment for the extraction of problematic iron sulfides from waterlogged archaeological wood

M. Monachon, M. Albelda Berenguer and E. Joseph

11:35 - 12:00

The development of localized targeted treatments for the removal of destructive acids from marine archaeological wood

E. Schofield, E. Aluri, E. Perez, R. O'Reilly and S. Corr

12:00 - 13:30


13:30 - 13:55

Development of curative and preventive treatments for waterlogged archaeological wood contaminated by pyrite

G. Chaumat, D. Zahnweh, X. Martinez-Carballal, L. Caillat, T. Guiblain, and M. Debeaurain

13:55 - 14:20

Deacidification of acid-affected PEG treated timbers from the Korean Shinan ship using poultices

V. Richards, I, Godfrey, K. Kasi and M. Cha

14:20 - 14:35

Lyon St. George 4: feedback on the treatment of a high-rate pyriteous wreck

L. Meunier

14:35 - 15:00

Development of styrene -free resins and acrylic monomers for the conservation of composite wood-meetal archaeological artifacts by radiation curing.

K. Tran

15:00 - 15:15

The conservation treatment of wood-iron composites objects from marine contexts using the Trehalose method: study of the stabilization of iron after the conservation treatment

Ito et al

15:15 - 15:45


15:45 - 17:30

Business meeting and Awards

Thursday 23rd May

09:00 - 09:15

Keeping an eye on conserved ships, long-term monitoring: why and how?

A. Colson, D. Hauer, K. Gamstedt, and E. Schofield

09:15 - 09:40

Characterization of mechanical properties of Vasa oak and their application in a full-scale numerical model for support assessment

R. Afshar, A. Ahlgren, and E. Gamstedt

09:40 - 10:05

The role of conservators in the implementation of surveying techniques-reflection on the Bremen Cog monitoring project

A. Colson. H. Hastedt, T. Luhmann, M. Hess

10:05 - 10:30


10:30- 10:55

Application of fixed target photogrammetry for deformation monitoring of large, complex archaeological wooden structures

D. Hauer, K. Gamstedt, A. Colson and H. Hastedt

10:55 - 11:20

The deformation monitoring of the Arles Rhone 3 Roman barge

D. Peloso, M-L Courboules, V. Dumas and A. Colson

11:20- 11:45

High and dry: a survey of a small fleet of PEG treated shipwrecks

F. Davidson

11:45 - 12:00

Fishing for Stability: Conservation of a Fish Trap in a block excavation by the Alcohol-Ether-Resin method 

K. Schmidt-Ott, C. Andre and M. BaderHagele-Masnick; Fejfer; Goodman and Duarte

12:00 - 13:30


13:30 - 13:55

Does waterlogged archaeological wood contribute to corrosive environments within display cases?

S. Hunt, E. Schofield, J. Grau-Bove, N. Martin and S. Gaisford

13:55 - 14:10

The Museum of Archaeological Wood in Sviyazhsk: the first museum in Russia: the in situ conservation of the site of the wooden urban development

A. Sitdikov and A. Silkin  

14:10 - 14:25

The oldest log boat of Switzerland is back to the lake – The realization of an open-air display at its find spot

F. Moll-dau, M. Wittkopper, and J. Kluegl

14:25 - 14:40

The royal treatment: conservation of archaeological wood from the Revolutionary war vessel Royal Savage

S. Daniel, K. Morrand and R. Vykukal

14:40 - 14:55

Conservation of waterlogged organic materials in the field

N. Vasilyeva

14:55 - 15:30


15:30 - 15:55

Conserving a charred medieval shipwreck: A preliminary study

E. Mitsi and A. Pournou

15:55 - 16:10

The investigation and exhibition of the rudder from the Saint George

M. Rasmussen

16:10 - 16:35

Conservation of the Yenikapi shipwrecks: from the beginning to the present 

N. Kilic and A. Kilic

16:35 - 17:00

The Mary Rose: larger than life

D. Pearson and E. Schofield

Friday 24th May

9:00 - 5:00

Tours of the Mary Rose and Historic England

5:00 - 7:00

Dinner at Fort Cumberland

Social Program

During the conference, a program of optional social activities will be offered to delegates.

Monday 20TH MAY

The Welcome Reception will be held on Monday, 20th May, 19:30 at Southsea Castle. You will be able to enjoy views over the Solent and see where the Mary Rose sank.

Thursday 23RD MAY

The Gala Dinner will be held on Thursday 23rd May 2019, at 18:30, at the Mary Rose Museum. Please note, the gala dinner is not included in the general conference fee. You are able to purchase a companion ticket; however, this event is limited to 100 people. Ticket sales have now ended.

saturday 25TH MAY

A Field trip on Saturday 25th May 2019 to visit Flag Fen, Archaeology Park. Tickets are £60 per person. Ticket sales have now ended.

Join us in May 2019

Registration is now closed, we look forward to seeing you in Portsmouth.

 Tickets cannot be purchased at the event.

Call For Papers

ICOM-CC’s Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Working Group (WOAM) exists to: disseminate scientific research in the field of wet organic archaeological materials; to promote the application of new materials and technologies for conservation, investigate new tools for analysis and documentation; present relevant case studies in the conservation of wet organic archaeological materials; identify further areas of research and to facilitate networking for future collaborative activities.

For the 2017-2020 Triennial period, WOAM opted to focus on the following subjects:

- The ethics and practicalities of treating waterlogged materials, especially large structures or large assemblages.

- Documentation and characterisation techniques for recording and assessing wet organics.

- In situ preservation of wet organic archaeological materials and sites?

- New treatment techniques and continued review of established methods, for example Kauramin, PEG, Sugars, Alum etc. We welcome studies that address the long-term performance and stability of treatments.

- The treatment of composite materials.

- The treatment of non-wood organics.

- The display and storage of waterlogged (and previously waterlogged) organics.

- The role of sulfur and other contaminants in the deterioration of wood and other organics and ways to mitigate these effects.

Although papers and posters addressing these subjects are most welcome, the list is not inclusive and we encourage all original submissions covering topics relevant to the analysis, treatment, study and care of wet organic archaeological materials for consideration.

Please submit abstracts for papers or posters to: woamcoordinator@gmail.com. They are due by September 15, 2018. Abstracts should be a minimum of 250 words and a maximum of 500 words. They must contain the title, author(s) name and contact details as well as the body of the abstract. They should not contain images or graphs.

Key dates to remember:

Sept 15, 2018: Submission of abstracts for papers or posters

October 31, 2018 Notification of speakers and authors

March 30, 2019: Submission of all papers and posters for inclusion in conference post-print.

Conference Location

Portland Building, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, PO1 3AH

For more information about the area please click through to the Visit Portsmouth website.

Helpful Links

Map of Portsmouth 

Train times and fare information: National Rail

Coaches/ Airport transfer: National Express

Portsmouth bus service: First Group Bus Timetable

Airport arrival / departure information: Southampton, Heathrow, Gatwick

Aqua Cars Taxis - 02392 654 321

City Wide Taxis  - 02392 833 333


Portsmouth offers a number of hotels, close to the conference venue. We have provided a selection here and a link to book directly. 

Please make your own arrangements.




Keep up to date with program announcements and conference news.


Poster boards are 1.2 by 1.8 metres and can be used portrait or landscape