Fighting Corrosion | The cutting edge of conservation science

In a ground-breaking partnership between The Mary Rose, UCL and Diamond Light Source, the Mary Rose’s Head of Conservation, Dr Eleanor Schofield and her colleagues are working at the cutting edge of conservation science to protect and preserve the huge haul of cannonballs found on Henry VIII’s flagship. The cannonballs in active conservation are suffering badly from the effects of corrosion

Dr Schofield is working with PhD student Hayley Simon from UCL Institute of Archaeology and Diamond Light Source. Diamond is the UK’s national synchrotron and offers many non-destructive techniques that can be used to unlock the secrets of ancient treasures and explore ways to conserve artefacts ranging from ancient scrolls, bones, woods, paintings and materials to maritime treasures like The Mary Rose, the famous Tudor Ship sunk in 1545 and raised from the sea in 1982.

In a  paper published yesterday the results of the bright X-rays have revealed detailed maps of the elements involved in the corrosive process.  This allows an unprecedented insight into conservation on a molecular scale. This is crucial information that will help protect this cultural heritage for many decades to come.

A Synchrotron-Based Study of the Mary Rose Iron Cannonballs

The Full article is a available on the Mary Rose Conservation site

Going ballistic! Science meets conservation on The Mary Rose 

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