The COMAS project is focused on the discovery of new materials, techniques and methodologies for the conservation and restoration of marine sites in their natural environment, according to criteria that is normally applied to the existing land Historic monuments. The ultimate goal is to confirm, even for sea conservation, the world leading position in Italy, which is currently recognized in the field of Cultural Heritage conservation and restoration.
In particular, COMAS is studying the degradation processes and methods for the cleaning, conservation and restoration of natural and artificial archaeological stone artefacts which are degraded or at risk due to prolonged immersion in the marine environment.
In the 2012 springtime, a number of diving sessions took place in the Underwater Archaeological Park of Baia di Bacoli (Naples) in order:
- to carry out the 3D survey of a hall of the caldarium with the floor on a suspensurae of the "Domus with prothyrum entrance" (Villa a Protiro). It is a room of approximately 5 x 8 meters, located at a depth of about 5 meters. The 3D reconstruction was performed using multi-view techniques, implemented through the use of open source codes.
- to conduct the first tests with the prototype of underwater handpiece developed for the mechanical cleaning of the finds. The activities were carried out by researchers of University of Calabria and ISCR, under the supervision of an official of the Archaeological Heritage Superintendency of Naples and Pompei.
In the last project phase the underwater handpiece and the archeological diver will be replaced by a ROV equipped with a mechanical sensorised arm with brush and drill end-effectors that will be controlled by a graphical interface placed at the control station. These tools are designed to operate in situations where the direct intervention of qualified personnel would not be possible.