Lifting the Shipwrecks

Lifting procedure of the wooden pieces that forms the ships was applied after completing documentation work on the field. To be able to determine building techniques and construction details of the ships with separating members without joint details, also consolidate all members during conservation and impregnate conservation material, it was decided to dismantle the shipwreck members. In our work, usually the ceilings, then ship parts that forms the ship skeleton called “frames” were dismantled. For this purpose, in the beginning of the dismantling, fastening elements that holds the members together were removed delicately.

These methods which were developed by our team were used preferably considering the wrecks location on the site and conservation status. The primary goal in this method is to keep the original angles of the wooden members as much as possible. Wooden constructions that prevent formal deformation of ship members in the long-lasting conservation procedure were also very helpful with different purposes of transportation of wood. Ship members placed in cases which are dissembled and produced according to measurements were protected in tanks built in Istanbul University Yenikapı Shipwrecks Research Center which was founded on total 3000 square meter area near the Yenikapı excavation site.

Negative Mould Method

Initially, in this method, the negative copy of the planks were made out of wooden material. These constructions were placed inside the vessel, on top the planks to be lifted and then fixed with Styrofoam ‘clips’. This way, planks were protected by the prepared negative mould.

“L” shaped carriers

“L” shaped carriers were used especially for lifting planks. Implementation started with the removal of sand underneath the planking, L-shaped profiles were placed under the planking, leaving no gap between the plank and the carrier. “L” shaped carriers placed under planks were fixed to the 5×10 cm. timbers extended above. Next, the experts holding in the construction at suitable points finished lifting by placing the artifact inside the easily manufactured box.

Epoxy Support for Lifting

Epoxy supports were used for lifting of very thin or damaged timbers. In this method, aluminum foil was spread on the timbers then epoxy was applied on them to obtain the moulds. After applying a very fast solidifying epoxy on the aluminum foil, it was supported with fiber textile. Thin and damaged timbers were lifted from the area using these moulds.

Lifting as a single mass

It was decided to lift some of the ship timber as a single mass without dismantling. For this purpose, lifting supported ship members as a single mass was done with dense Styrofoam.