Miraculously, the many objects in and around the wrecks were preserved from destruction by the fact that they had quickly became covered in an anaerobic layer of sediment. However, not unlike a person who had been wounded, they had to be handled with great care. Waterlogged and consisting for the most part of organic materials (wood, leather, hemp, etc.), they were easily deformed.
The excavation team developed techniques for removing these objects so as to ensure both their survival and all of the information they might contain. Archaeologists used bases of various dimensions and all manner of bandages and wraps. These protected the objects from drying, from sunlight and from shocks, while at the same time holding them together. Complex and assembled objects were either removed en masse, or were subjected to a systematic disassembly of their components parts. Markers were attached to each piece to make it easier to reassemble them and study them on terra firma.
In order to identify any micro-vestiges that might be present, sampling was also systematically carried out in homogenous archaeological layers and closed environments.