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Science on Maritime Cultural Heritage Conservation

Cultural heritage conservation science is a study of extending the lifespan of cultural assets using the scientific techniques. Its purpose is to retain the unique characteristics and maintain the original form of the cultural heritage. Cultural heritage conservation science is an area of complex academic research that applies scientific technology (state-of-the-art equipment) and artistic sense (aesthetics, technique) to basic knowledge (history and archaeology), and it can be largely categorized into conservation treatment, cultural heritage analysis, and conservation environment.


  • Cultural
  • Conservation
  • Science
  • Conservation

    ▪︎ Metal

    ▪︎ Stone

    ▪︎ Wood

    ▪︎ Pottery

    ▪︎ Paper

    ▪︎ Mural

  • Analysis

    ▪︎ Material analysis

    ▪︎ Origin tracking

    ▪︎ Manufacturing technique

    ▪︎ Structure

    ▪︎ DNA analysis

  • Storage

    ▪︎ Preventive conservation

    ▪︎ Exhibition environment

    ▪︎ Temperature and humidity

The institute currently performs conservation treatment for the maritime cultural assets and the collected cultural remains. We are also performing repairs and restoration of cultural remains through traditional methods and scientific techniques along with analysis and research on the materials, components, and conservation environment of cultural assets. The study results of these natural sciences are being used in a variety of studies such as maritime archaeology, art history, technography, history of human life and culture, etc.

The types and materials of maritime cultural assets are extremely diverse. These include shipwrecks, ceramics, wooden tablets, metal objects, and organic materials, such as grains, plants, fibers, fish, aggregates, etc. As these cultural assets were submerged in special conditions such as in the deep sea or mudflat, which allowed them to maintain their forms over hundreds of years, the abrupt change in environment after excavation may damage or deform the items found. Thus, in order to preserve and manage these excavated maritime cultural assets, they must be treated and preserved using methods appropriate to the material and condition.

Only up until the 1980s, scientific technology for preserving cultural heritage consisted mostly of results from research using relics excavated on land such as Cheonmachong Tomb, Hwangnamdaechong Tomb, Anapji Pond, etc. On the other hand, research for preserving maritime cultural heritages began in full-swing in 1981 when the Mokpo Conservation Yard was established for preserving the Sinan Shipwreck. Conservation treatment of the Sinan Shipwreck was conducted for about 20 years until 1999 using around 720 pieces of the hull that were recovered from the excavations, and research results on conservation treatment continue to be accumulated based on this project.
Research achievement


Special Exhibition
(A Ship Submerged in the Sea, a shipwreck: Its Relics, and the Achievements of Its conservation Treatment)


Conservation and Restoration of the Sinan Shipwreck - 20 Years of Effort


Report on the Conservation and Restoration of the Sinan Shipwreck


Report on the Conservation and Restoration of the Dalido Shipwreck


Guidelines on Conservation treatment of Excavated Maritime Artifacts


Conservation Manual of Maritime Archaeological Objects in Korea

  • Administrative Office Maritime Heritage Research Division

  • Contact 061-270-2090