The KUDAR Maritime Archaeology Laboratory was founded in 2018 as a space for teaching and research in maritime archaeology at Koç University. Because most artifacts removed from marine or waterlogged contexts will require some form of conservation treatment, whether it is the removal of soluble salts and concretion from pottery and metal objects or the consolidation of delicate organic materials, a laboratory space is essential for any artifact-based maritime archaeology research. The Department of Archaeology and History of Art at Koç University currently offers a graduate-level Documentation and Conservation Methods course (ARHA 582) in the KUDAR Laboratory, which provides an introduction to methods for documenting and conserving archaeological materials; the course includes hands-on experience with different techniques and the opportunity to develop final projects related to student interests and research.
In addition to its conservation facilities, the laboratory’s facilities support a variety of other training opportunities. In addition to photographic, digital, and manual documentation of artifacts, and 3D photogrammetry, the lab can also support the documentation, conservation, and analysis of archaeological material by ARHA faculty and students as well as research fellows pursuing projects in maritime archaeology or related fields.
The laboratory includes two fume hoods, sinks, a compressed air line and pneumatic chisels (a necessity for concreted pottery and metal objects from underwater sites), a Telstar Lyoquest freeze dryer for conservation treatments of organic materials, an ICP-OES (Internally Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry) device for elemental analyses, cameras and photography lights and accessories, and a variety of tools and supplies for artifact documentation and conservation. Equipment for off-campus field- and museum-based projects are kept in the laboratory storeroom, including diving and photography equipment and computers for 3-D photogrammetry modeling and other research applications. The KUDAR Maritime Archaeology Laboratory also provides resources for KUDAR projects in Turkey.