Eleonora Piva

Head Engineer - Saving Oseberg
Image of Eleonora Piva
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-22859552
Visiting address Huk aveny 34 Vikingskiphuset 0287 OSLO
Postal address Postboks 6762 St. Olavs plass 0130 OSLO

Academic interest

I am a conservation scientist with a background in chemistry, conservation, and maritime archaeology, which reflects my passion for history, “hands-on” work, and diving. During my training I tried to join very diverse field excavations and conservation projects because I wanted to get as much as possible the chance to use a wide range of techniques and equipment on a large variety of materials.

However, my main interest is in waterlogged archaeological materials. That is why more recently I tried to focus my research on the conservation of wooden shipwrecks. I now work as conservator in the Saving Oseberg project, where my role is to test conservation treatments on the degraded Alum wood from the Oseberg finds. 


I received my B.Sc. in Chemistry for Conservation at Ca’ Foscari University in Venice. This course was focused predominantly on art conservation, so I decided to pursue my interest in archaeology by doing an internship abroad. I started collaborating with the paleodiet group of RLAHA at Oxford University, specialized in Carbon and Nitrogen isotope analyses on human bones.

I moved to the UK where I obtained my first master’s degrees in Archaeological Science from Oxford University. After I did an internship at the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics, where I worked for the creation of their own Raman spectra database of pigments. I also did internship at Studio Västsvensk Konservering in Gothenburg (Sweden), where I worked in the department of maritime archaeological conservation.

I obtained a second master's in Maritime Archaeology and Conservation from the University of Southampton when I started working on the Tudor warship Mary Rose. I first looked into the drying behaviour of her PEG treated timbers, which I investigated both with traditional methods and with Neutron imaging. As I got more into the study of the ship I started being interested also in the structural aspects, focusing on the structural monitoring of the ship's hull and in finding alternative monitoring methods to Laser scanning and Total Station. In March 2018 I completed my PhD degree with the thesis "Conservation of a Tudor warship: Investigating the timbers of the Mary Rose".

Tags: conservation, archaeological conservation, maritime conservation, waterlogged wood


Pollard, A.M., Ditchfield, P., Piva, E., Wallis, S., Falys, C. and Ford, S., 2012. ‘SPROUTING LIKE COCKLE AMONGST THE WHEAT’: THE ST BRICE'S DAY MASSACRE AND THE ISOTOPIC ANALYSIS OF HUMAN BONES FROM ST JOHN'S COLLEGE, OXFORD. Oxford Journal of Archaeology31(1), pp.83-102.

Published Nov. 28, 2017 2:49 PM - Last modified Apr. 16, 2018 4:29 PM