Rules concerning Activities directed at Underwater Cultural Heritage

Pollockshields Wreck, Bermudas © UNESCO/E. Trainito

The Annex to the 2001 Convention contains detailed practical guidelines entitled "Rules concerning activities directed at underwater cultural heritage." 
They are highly useful and widely recognized and applied by underwater archaeologists.

The Rules contain regulations as to:

  • how a project is to be designed;
  • the competence and the qualifications required for persons undertaking interventions;
  • planning the funding of excavation projects;
  • documentation of archaeological excavations under water; and
  • methodologies on conservation and site management.

Consult the Text of the 2001 Convention and its Annex.

The 36 Rules of the Annex present a directly applicable operation scheme for underwater interventions. Over the years, they have become a reference document in the field of underwater archaeology, setting out regulations for the responsible management of such cultural heritage.

They constitute one of the most significant components of the 2001 Convention. Every professional working in the field of underwater cultural heritage should strictly comply with these Rules.

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