International conference: “Shipwrecks in the Intertidal Zone”

18 Nov 2022 @ 6:00pm - 20 Nov 2022 @ 3:00pm, Hamburg, Germany


Dr. Daniel Zwick

27 Oct 2022

In recent years historical shipwrecks in the intertidal zone have become exposed at a perceivably higher rate on a global scale. The wrecks are exposed by coastal erosion and storms, which effects are exacerbated by climate change. Some of the wrecks have been preserved to a stunning degree, enduring the centuries like ‘time-capsules’. This applies to cases where the hull was entirely covered by the sediment, acting as a natural protection against marine borers and keeping the site in a permanently waterlogged state. However, once the sediment layer is washed away, the deterioration process begins, often at a dramatic pace. This poses a great challenge to heritage protection authorities, as neither the methods of terrestrial nor underwater archaeology can be fully applied in this difficult terrain. Moreover, the identity of many of those wrecks is unknown. Archival research takes time and once the identity and historical significance has been established, the wreck itself may have already been destroyed by the forces of nature. For this reason, the conference shall provide a forum for maritime archaeologists, historians, geologists and museologists to exchange their experiences and best-practice examples in dealing with this great challenge.