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Portsmouth, United Kingdom

Preston J.,University of Portsmouth | Smith A.D.,Daresbury Laboratory | Smith A.D.,University of Manchester | Schofield E.J.,Mary Rose Trust | And 3 more authors.

The Tudor warship the Mary Rose has reached an important transition point in her conservation. The 19 year long process of spraying with polyethylene glycol (PEG) has been completed (April 29th 2013) and the hull is air drying under tightly controlled conditions. Acidophilic bacteria capable of oxidising iron and sulfur have been previously identified and enriched from unpreserved timbers of the Mary Rose, demonstrating that biological pathways of iron and sulfur oxidization existed potentially in this wood, before preservation with PEG. This study was designed to establish if the recycled PEG spray system was a reservoir of microorganisms capable of iron and sulfur oxidization during preservation of the Mary Rose. Microbial enrichments derived from PEG impregnated biofilm collected from underneath the Mary Rose hull, were examined to better understand the processes of cycling of iron. X-ray absorption spectroscopy was utilised to demonstrate the biological contribution to production of sulfuric acid in the wood. Using molecular microbiological techniques to examine these enrichment cultures, PEG was found to mediate a shift in the microbial community from a co-culture of Stenotrophomonas and Brevunidimonas sp, to a co-culture of Stenotrophomonas and the iron oxidising Alicyclobacillus sp. Evidence is presented that PEG is not an inert substance in relation to the redox cycling of iron. This is the first demonstration that solutions of PEG used in the conservation of the Mary Rose are promoting the oxidation of ferrous iron in acidic solutions, in which spontaneous abiotic oxidation does not occur in water. Critically, these results suggest PEG mediated redox cycling of iron between valence states in solutions of 75% PEG 200 and 50% PEG 2000 (v/v) at pH 3.0, with serious implications for the future use of PEG as a conservation material of iron rich wooden archaeological artefacts. © 2014 Preston et al. Source

Zouganelis G.D.,University of Portsmouth | Ogden R.,Royal Zoological Society of Scotland | Nahar N.,University of Portsmouth | Runfola V.,University of Portsmouth | And 8 more authors.
Forensic Science International

The Tudor warship the Mary Rose sank in the Solent waters between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight on the 19th of July 1545, whilst engaging a French invasion fleet. The ship was rediscovered in 1971 and between 1979 and 1982 the entire contents of the ship were excavated resulting in the recovery of over 25,000 objects, including the skeleton of a small to medium sized dog referred to as the Mary Rose Dog (MRD). Here we report the extraction and analysis of both mitochondrial and genomic DNA from a tooth of this animal. Our results show that the MRD was a young male of a terrier type most closely related to modern Jack Russell Terriers with a light to dark brown coat colour. Interestingly, given the antiquity of the sample, the dog was heterozygotic for the SLC2A9 gene variant that leads to hyperuricosuria when found in modern homozygotic animals. These findings help shed light on a notable historical artefact from an important period in the development of modern dog breeds. © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Chadwick A.V.,University of Kent | Berko A.,University of Kent | Schofield E.J.,University of Kent | Jones A.M.,Mary Rose Trust | And 3 more authors.
Actualite Chimique

This article presents a brief overview of the role synchrotron-based X-ray techniques are playing in the preservation of the Mary Rose, a 16th century English warship. The particular problem facing the conservators is the effects of sulfuric acid in the wood formed from sulfur compounds which originate from microbial activity. Source

Schofield E.J.,University of Kent | Sarangi R.,SLAC | Mehta A.,SLAC | Jones A.M.,Mary Rose Trust | And 2 more authors.
Materials Today

The preservation of waterlogged archaeological wooden finds, such as Henry VIII's flagship the Mary Rose1-3, is complicated by the biological, chemical, and mechanical changes induced from prolonged exposure to a marine environment. Of particular concern are sulfur species that form acidic compounds that attack wood4. Here we show that different sulfur compounds do not form acids at the same rate or pathway and propose a preservation strategy of applying SrCO3 nanoparticles. These nanoparticles not only neutralize problematic sulfuric acid, but also reduced sulfur compounds, such as sulfur and pyrite, which pose a long term threat. This is the first treatment that eliminates acidification at the root. Although this strategy was devised for the Mary Rose, it could be employed to preserve any archaeological organic artifact rich in problematic sulfur, from sunken ships5,6 and silk tapestries7 to ancient texts8 and parchments9. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Chadwick A.V.,University of Kent | Berko A.,University of Kent | Schofield E.J.,University of Kent | Jones A.M.,Mary Rose Trust | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Architectural Heritage

Synchrotron-based techniques are becoming increasingly important in heritage science and the aim of this article is to describe how recently developed microfocus methods can probe the elemental composition, speciation and structure at the micron level in samples from structures. Firstly an outline is given of the major techniques that are used, namely x-ray fluorescence, diffraction and absorption spectroscopy, and the information that they can provide. This is followed by a description of the experimental set-up and procedures. The application of the methods is exemplified by case studies of the degradation of three types of historic structural materials; marble, glass and ship timbers. The results of the studies and their role in developing conservation strategies are described. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

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