Talking shipwreck archaeology out in the real world can be tough. Some want to tear apart wrecks looking for silver and gold. Another wants to bring up every scrap of iron and wood for their mantle. Public resources for proper preservation seem to dwindle every year (not that there was that much to begin with). At the end of the day, they always ask: “So what do you want us to do, just leave it down there?” Well… yes.
After excavating and scientifically recording the 1850 wreck of Clarence in Victoria’s Port Philip Bay, Australian maritime archaeologists are “reinterring” the wreck. Why? The prohibitive cost of proper preservation and storage of artifacts. The technique is not unknown elsewhere, it’s apparently the first time it will be used in Australian waters. For more, read this fascinating article by Australian Geographic.