Hotel Indigo Excavation Update: Ship Conservation Website

The Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL) at Texas A&M has unveiled a website to highlight the excavation, transportation, documentation and conservation of the Alexandria Ship.

Page archived as of March 11, 2019

Note: The information on this page reflects the state of knowledge when this update was written. Information may have changed. 

Ship Conservation Website

November 2017

Website Landing Page

In June, the Alexandria Ship arrived safely at the Texas A&M University’s Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL) in College Station, Texas and it is beginning the next phase of its journey. Even though the ship is more than a thousand miles away, we can still follow along with the CRL as they document and conserve the Alexandria Ship at its new webpage:   

The ProcessThe webpage has links to the different phases of the Alexandria Ship project, including Excavation, Shipping, Documentation, and Conservation. In June, we packed up the ship with the help of dozens of volunteers, put it on a truck, and sent it to Texas. The ship arrived safely and conservators at the CRL have now unloaded and unpacked its timbers and have begun the process of documenting each floor, futtock, plank, and piece of keel and bow stem before they can start the conservation process.

As part of this phase of documentation, the CRL is using a FARO Edge ScanArm, a device that can measure and scan an object and produce a digital 3D model. They have already scanned several of the timbers and loaded the 3D models onto the website. This technology makes it easy to examine, measure, and manipulate these very heavy and large timbers, even if they are currently in Texas and we are in Alexandria. From these digital scans, it will be possible to digitally reconstruct the remains without having to lift a single timber, approximate and reconstruct the missing portions of the ship in the computer, as well as 3D-print the individual timbers in order to create a physical model of the ship's remains.   

M.S. student Julia Herbst scanning a timber with the FARO arm

Here, M.S. student Julia Herbst scans a timber using the FARO arm. 

Side view of Floor 1

Location of Floor 1

Pictured above in this digital scan is a side view of Floor 1, the fore-most framing timber of the ship (highlighted in red). Click here to explore the digital model of Floor 1. Visit the Documentation section of the website to explore more digital models.

From these digital 3D files, the CRL can print scaled-down physical models of each of the ship's timbers (the model of Floor 1 can be seen in the background of this photo below). Once all of the timbers have been scanned and printed, CRL will be able to build a scale model of our ship's remains for study and display. 

3D-printed timbers

Check back as more timbers are scanned and uploaded to the CRL website and as they enter the conservation process. 

Read the news release here