SEAHA Centre for Doctoral Training


Hayley Simon

PhD student, University College London

Project Title 

Characterising marine archaeological iron degradation and the efficacy of treatments to date: worth a shot.

Background & Summary of Project

Iron, if left to its own devices, corrodes. This observation may seem obvious, but it is governed by a series of complex chemical reactions. Studies have pointed towards a link between corrosion and chlorine, and current conservation methods focus on removing chlorine ions using a number of desalination techniques. Owing to the unique nature of archaeological artefacts, comparing these treatments and assessing their effectiveness has been difficult. In this project, many issues will be overcome by studying the 1,000+ examples of iron shot recovered from the wreckage of the Tudor warship the Mary Rose.



Simon, Hayley & Cibin, Giannantonio & Robbins, Phil & Day, Sarah & Tang, Chiu & Freestone, Ian & Schofield, Eleanor. (2018). A Synchrotron-Based Study of the Mary Rose Iron Cannonballs. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 57. 

Simon, H.J., Cibin, G., Reinhard, C., Liu, Y., Schofield, E., Freestone, I.C., 2019. Influence of microstructure on the corrosion of archaeological iron observed using 3D synchrotron micro-tomography. Corros. Sci. 159, 108132. 

Simon, Hayley., Cibin, Giannantonio., Freestone, Ian and Schofield, Eleanor (2021). "Fe K-edge x-ray absorption spectroscopy of corrosion phases of archaeological iron: results, limitations, and the need for complementary techniques." Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 33(34): 344002.