Stabilising a small barrel recovered
during the excavation
(Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery)
By the time that excavations ceased at the end of the 1993 season, 55% of the originally gridded survey area had been uncovered. This included 95 square metres of the vessel's timber structure which corresponds to around 50% of the original lower hull. Whilst it was obvious from historical documentation and site based observations that artefact material would continue to be found in a large radius outside the core site area, it was decided to halt the excavation at this point. This decision was made to allow the work which had already occurred to be consolidated.
A final expedition to the site took place in March of 1994 during which time the ships pump was wrapped up and re-buried and sacrificial zinc anodes were attached to the two iron cannon near the bow. In addition, over 500 sandbags were placed on site, particularly where scouring was observed to be occurring. Previous work and observations had shown that weed growth on the sandbags acted as an efficient sediment trap and therefore resulted in a relatively cheap and effective method of site stabilisation. In the time since the field component of the project was completed period monitoring of the site has been conducted to ensure its continued stability.
Throughout the project the conservation of materials has been undertaken by staff and volunteers from the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery in Launceston. This has resulted in the successful preservation of items as diverse as the ships anchors which required several years of treatment to the stabilisation of the smallest items of the ship's cargo.
An exhibition of Sydney Cove artefacts is currently touring throughout Australia and will be located at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in between January and March 1999. After this the exhibition will be permanently housed at the Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, Launceston.