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In Situ Preservation: ‘the preferred option’


  • Martijn Manders

    1. Martijn Manders is a specialist in excavation techniques and the protection of shipwrecks. He currently works in the Netherlands for the National Service for Archaeology, Cultural Landscapes and Built Heritage (RACM). He is also project manager for the European Community-Culture 2000 project Managing Cultural Heritage Underwater (MACHU), having performed the same function within the Framework of the European Community programme. He has written extensively on the issue of in situ preservation.
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Over recent years, stress has been placed on a preference for the safeguarding of underwater cultural heritage for future generations in situ. However, is such an option a detriment to the public? Is it possible to access sites preserved in situ? Before posing such questions, it is necessary to understand what is meant by ‘in situ’, what is preserved in such an environment and the means of safeguarding it, given that the public is curious about underwater cultural heritage and the ways in which it is protected. Museums as well as new technologies have a significant role to perform in the transmission of information regarding this heritage to as large an audience as possible.