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Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Working Group Triennial Programme 2020-2023

Wet Organic Archaeological Materials Working Group Triennial Programme 2020-2023

Specific themes for investigation/research

  • The ethics and practicalities of treating waterlogged materials, especially large structures or large assemblages.
  • In-situ preservation of waterlogged organics.
  • New treatment techniques and continued review of older techniques, such as Kauramin, PEG, Sugars, Alum etc.
  • The treatment of composite materials.
  • The treatment of non-wood organics.
  • The display and storage of waterlogged (and previously waterlogged) organics.
  • The role of sulphur and other contaminants in the deterioration of wood and other organics and ways to mitigate these effects.
  • The documentation and characterisation techniques for recording and assessing waterlogged organics.
  • Exploration of different sustainable concepts and methods within our field:
  • for example, comparison of different materials used for impregnation, regeneration/reuse of materials used during treatment, methods used to reduce microbial growth during storage and impregnation of waterlogged organics.
  • The Working Group welcomes research especially from students and emerging professionals.


  • Set up a Facebook page for the Working Group.
  • Liaise with the previous coordinator about publication of the proceedings from the Interim Meeting held in Portsmouth 2019.
  • Plan an Interim Meeting; preferably a physical meeting, if possible.
  • Prepare the publication of the papers from the Interim Meeting.
  • Communicate with members, when shorter updates are warranted in between the annual Newsletters, e.g., information about conferences, workshops, webinars hosted by other organisations or other sections within ICOM.
  • Assist with gathering information for the Publications Online Platform Project related to the Working Groups’ past publications, as well as any further work required to place publications generated in this triennium.


ICOM-CC acknowledges and highly values the contributions and additional efforts required by the Working Group Coordinators towards converting the Beijing 19th Triennial Conference to a fully virtual event. Additional workloads are being carried by Coordinators from both the past and current triennia to ensure a vibrant and exciting conference.