Development of new technologies in marine archaeology

UW ARchaeology

From Hydro International

A Swedish research foundation has granted MARIS at Södertörn University, Sweden, funds to develop non-intrusive methods for deep water archaeology together with MMT.

The project focuses on developing new technologies and methods for documentation and identification of complex and inaccessible archaeological remains beneath the surface.

For the project, a Blue View high-frequency scanner is to be placed on the sea floor. The scanner is particularly useful on wrecks in deep water where diving is difficult and complicated.

These are the conditions in the newly discovered and spectacular wrecks, such as Mars (from 1564) and the Sword (from 1676). These two wrecks lays on the bottom of the sea by the island of Öland, Sweden.

By putting the transmitter in a wreck for example, a detailed documentation of the hull of a wreck can be done in short time and with very high accuracy, explains Joakim Holmlund, PhD physicists, project manager at MMT and works at MARIS.

There is often one problem with the archaeological remains in the Baltic Sea.

The remains are covered with thick layers of sediment. This may explain why so few really old prehistoric archaeological remains have been found so far.

To remedy this, new methods is needed to access the buried objects with higher resolution than normal sub-bottom profilers.

One type of equipment that could be used for this purpose is a synthetic aperture sub-bottom profiler and it is called "Buried Object Sonar System" (BOSS). By using the BOSS method, the marine archaeologists can to see three-dimensional images of objects under the surface.

This technique might even make Baltic boats from both the Bronze Age and Stone Age to be found in the future.

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archaeology Sweden

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