Special Issue "Diagnostics, Conservation and Valorisation of Underwater Cultural Heritage"

A special issue of Heritage (ISSN 2571-9408). This special issue belongs to the section "Underwater Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Mauro Francesco La Russa
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, Rende, 87036 Cosenza, Italy
Interests: cultural heritage; the characterization of stone building materials and their decay, the experimentation of innovative protective products, the archeometria study of chronologically different ceramic remains in subaerial and underwater environments
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Fabio Bruno
Website
Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical, Energy, and Management Engineering, University of Calabria, Rende, 87036 Cosenza, Italy
Interests: 3D recording; underwater technologies; virtual reality; augmented reality
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. David Gregory

Guest Editor
National Museum of Denmark, Ny Vestergade 10, 1471 København K, Denmark
Dr. Michela Ricca
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Department of Biology, Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Calabria, Rende, 87036 Cosenza, Italy
Interests: conservation science; characterization and diagnostics of underwater materials
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Barbara Davidde

Guest Editor
Istituto Superiore per la Conservazione ed il Restauro (ISCR), Rome, Italy
Interests: archaeologist, since 2011 is the Director of the Underwater Archaeological Operations Unit and of the Department of Archaeology at the ISCR
Dr. Pari Kalamara

Guest Editor
Director of Maritime Antiquities, Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports, Greece
Interests: protection and promotion of cultural heritage; history; archaeology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Underwater cultural heritage (UCH) is defined by UNESCO 2001 convention as “a trace of human existence that lies or has lain underwater and has a cultural or historical character".

The awareness, preservation, and dissemination of UCH strongly depends on having scientific and technological expertise of materials in a dynamic and fruitful cycle, encompassing all areas of knowledge. There is a need for further studies and research to better understand the dynamic relationship between underwater materials (stone, wood, metals, etc.), conservation strategies, and the various environmental dimensions involved.

This Special Issue intends to collect original and high-quality research and technical notes devoted to the knowledge of underwater materials, by promoting innovative studies and practices and improving the development and application of emerging solutions on the subject of materials that lie or have lain underwater.

Contributions are welcome to provide a multidisciplinary forum for cutting-edge scientific and technological issues in materials science, underwater archaeology, archaeometry, cultural heritage, alteration and ageing, climate impact, case studies, and other related fields involving the large and varied community of experts from around the globe working in the underwater cultural heritage field.

Contributions are invited on the following topics:

  • Characterization and diagnostics of underwater materials;
  • Knowledge, enhancement, and dissemination of underwater materials;
  • Conservation state assessment and conservation–restoration studies of underwater archaeological sites and objects;
  • New technologies, tools, and advanced materials for underwater sites;
  • Musealization, digitization, and 3D reconstruction.

Finally, Partial waivers (50%) on Article Processing Charge (APC) will be granted for the papers submitted to the Blumed Congress: International Conference in Management of Accessible Underwater Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites: “Dive in Blue Growth”, 16-18 October 2019 Athens, Museum of Acropolis, Auditorium.

The conference will be focused on different issues: a) lack of coordinated policies, methods and tools, adapted to support sustainable economic development; b) ineffective protection of t underwater natural and cultural heritage and inability to use it as an asset for sustainable and responsible tourism development; c) insufficient measures to tackle impacts of extreme climatic conditions.

BLUEMED aims to protect and preserve in a unified manner the underwater natural and cultural heritage of selected locations of the Mediterranean, to help coastal and island economies prosper by adopting a sustainable blue model for tourism development, and to protect the marine ecosystem of the Mediterranean. BLUEMED is part of Interreg MED 2014- 20 Programme. The Programme is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

For more information please visit the website: bluemed.interreg-med.eu

Prof. Mauro Francesco La Russa
Prof. Fabio Bruno
Prof. David Gregory
Dr. Michela Ricca
Dr. Barbara Davidde
Dr. Pari Kalamara
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Heritage is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Early Observations on the Steamer Bengala (Formerly Named Mecca and Livorno) Sunk off Capo Rizzuto (Crotone, Italy) in 1889
Heritage 2020, 3(3), 891-914; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage3030049 - 13 Aug 2020
Abstract
In the waters of the Calabrian Ionian Sea, off Isola di Capo Rizzuto (Crotone, Italy) and at a depth of 26–29 m, lies the wreck of Bengala, an iron screw-steamer foundered in 1889. She was built and launched in 1871 in Sunderland [...] Read more.
In the waters of the Calabrian Ionian Sea, off Isola di Capo Rizzuto (Crotone, Italy) and at a depth of 26–29 m, lies the wreck of Bengala, an iron screw-steamer foundered in 1889. She was built and launched in 1871 in Sunderland (Great Britain) in the yards of Iliff, Mounsey, and Co. (Sunderland), with the name of Mecca and her British owner was Mr. Ralph Milbanke Hudson Junior. In 1872 she was sold to the Lloyd Italiano company and was rechristened as Livorno. In 1876 her ownership changed once more and she became part of the fleet of the Genoese shipping company Rubattino and Co. with the name Bengala. The steamer was sold for the last time at the launch of the Navigazione Generale Italiana in 1881, one of the largest shipping companies in Europe. Until now, no scientific study has been dedicated to this topic and the few references in the literature are often incorrect. For this reason, in the pages that follow, a broad historical account of the events concerning the steamer is offered for the first time, linking them to the complex events of the Italian merchant navy of that period. This is followed by the analysis of underwater archaeological evidence, with a view to carrying out more detailed investigations in the near future. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Characterizing the Preservation Potential of Buried Marine Archaeological Sites
Heritage 2020, 3(3), 838-857; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage3030046 - 20 Jul 2020
Abstract
The preservation potential of sediments from a submerged prehistoric site buried in a full marine environment was assessed using a combination of direct in situ measurements, measurements on extracted sediment cores and laboratory mesocosm experiments. The results show that first and foremost it [...] Read more.
The preservation potential of sediments from a submerged prehistoric site buried in a full marine environment was assessed using a combination of direct in situ measurements, measurements on extracted sediment cores and laboratory mesocosm experiments. The results show that first and foremost it is paramount to ascertain the state of preservation of the materials in the seabed—in this case wooden artifacts—that are to be preserved in situ. The results suggest that dissolved oxygen and sulfide are good parameters to measure in situ to assess the general oxidizing or reducing nature of the environment. If it is possible to take sediment core samples, it is similarly important to measure dissolved oxygen and hydrogen sulfide in the core and extract pore water to assess for sulfate content. Sediments should be characterized for particle size, water content (porosity) and organic content. In this way, we show that dissolved oxygen was rapidly depleted in the first few centimeters of sediment, thereafter sulfate reduction dominated the geochemical processes. Coarser sediment types with high porosity and low organic content have lower rates of organic material turnover, indicating better preservation conditions. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Challenges for the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH), from Waterlogged and Weathered Stone Materials to Conservation Strategies: An Overview
Heritage 2020, 3(2), 402-411; https://doi.org/10.3390/heritage3020024 - 29 May 2020
Abstract
Despite the growing attention to Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) in Europe and worldwide, the efforts in wholly enjoying underwater archaeological assets and sites are still remarkable; hence, the need for innovative research and solutions that are suitable for raising knowledge on the subject. [...] Read more.
Despite the growing attention to Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) in Europe and worldwide, the efforts in wholly enjoying underwater archaeological assets and sites are still remarkable; hence, the need for innovative research and solutions that are suitable for raising knowledge on the subject. In this way, this paper wants to be a review for highlighting all of the developments, potentials, and results achieved in the last decade to reach a good protection of UCHs related to the study of stone materials, degradation processes, and the new methods for protection/consolidation directly in situ. The present work is focused on the analysis of the main results obtained from several studies conducted to date, providing additional guidelines for operators in the UCH sector (i.e., restorers, archaeologists, conservation scientists, geologists, etc.). Such guidelines will be a very useful key factor in enhancing knowledge, management, protection, and promotion of underwater sites. In particular, the purpose of this paper is to provide an analysis of the state of the art on both consolidated techniques for studying materials coming from seawater and innovations in the field of protection and consolidation of UCH against biofouling, the main cause of damage in underwater environments. Full article
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