The Role of Conservators in the Implementation of Surveying Techniques : Reflections on the Bremen Cog Monitoring Project

Faculty/Professorship: University of Bamberg  ; Digital Technologies in Heritage Conservation  
Author(s): Colson, Amandine; Hastedt, H.; Luhmann, Thomas; Hess, Mona  
Title of the compilation: Wet Organic Archaeological Materials 2019 : Proceedings of the 14th ICOM-CC Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Working Group Interim Meeting, Portsmouth 2019
Corporate Body: ICOM-CC
Conference: 14th ICOM-CC Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Working Group Interim Meeting, 2019, Portsmouth
Year of publication: 2022
Pages: 281-286
ISBN: 978-2-491997-32-8
Language(s): English
Licence: Creative Commons - CC BY-NC-ND - Attribution - NonCommercial - NoDerivatives 4.0 International 
In 1962, the Bremen Cog, a 14th century ship, was discovered in the river Weser close to Bremen, Germany. After almost a decade of reconstruction and two decades of conservation, the ship was presented to the public in May 2000. Unfortunately, one year later the first deformations were noticed, and corrections had to be made. With the help of a European expert panel, a second support system was designed and presented to the museum’s board in 2006, but never implemented. After reshaping the ship in its “original” shape, all professionals involved at the German Maritime Museum in Bremerhaven, retired one by one and the project was not completed.
In 2013, it appeared clear the ship and its deformation processes had to be better understood. This was the foundation stone of the Bremen Cog’s deformation monitoring project.
Starting with the support of an EU-COST-Action, several studies were conducted using different measuring methodologies. The aim was to identify the best method. Consequently, the German Maritime Museum decided to fund a PhD fellowship.
In 2016, the PhD started and the partnership with the Institute for Applied Photogrammetry and Geoinformatics (IAPG), from the University of Applied Sciences in Oldenburg, became one of the project’s pillars.
Deformation monitoring is a preventive conservation measure, and the collected data delivers information to plan the future support system as well as keeping an eye on the ship. This paper presents the work done in setting up the goals, assessing the first tests and results, as well as developing the final measuring system to monitor the Bremen Cog three-dimensionally. The role of a conservator in developing a deformation monitoring system and the additional knowledge and skills necessary is also described in this contribution.
Keywords: 3D monitoring, photogrammetry, archaeological ship, Bremen Cog, long-term preservation, condition assessment, museum presentation, archaeological wood
Peer Reviewed: Ja
International Distribution: Ja
Open Access Journal: Ja
Type: Conferenceobject
Release Date: 25. July 2022