Canterbury Archaeological Trust

The story of the discovery of the bronze age boat

Bronze age boat

From This Is Kent

The second of four talks at Dover Museum marking the 20th anniversary of the discovery of the Dover Bronze Age Boat will feature Professor Mark Jones, head of collections at the Mary Rose Trust.

Professor Jones was responsible for much of the conservation of the 3,500-year-old artifact – the world's oldest known sea vessel – which was unearthed in September 1992 by archaeologists from the Canterbury Archaeological Trust working alongside contractors on the widening of Townwall Street.

Professor Jones worked with conservators from English Heritage to preserve the boat using techniques including impregnation with wax and freeze-drying.

During the process the entire boat had to be transported in a refrigerated lorry to and from the Mary Rose labs in Portsmouth.

Using research and experience gained in the conservation of the Mary Rose Tudor warship, recovered from the seabed off Portsmouth in 1982, Professor Jones and his team successfully stabilised and dried the delicate wet ancient wood of the Bronze Age Boat in about 12 months.

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