27.09.2011 - Culture Sector

Activities pulled from the world of underwater archaeology

© UNESCO / X. Rivett© UNESCO / X. Rivett

In the wake of the upcoming 10th anniversary of the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001) important events have animated the world of underwater archaeology.

Learning tools

On the one hand UNESCO has prepared a new high-level tutorial on the Rules concerning Activities directed at Underwater Cultural Heritage. Its 14 chapters explain the Annex of the Convention addressing site managers and national authorities. It will be available in a printed version as well as online. Its supplement, containing practical learning tools and film material, is in preparation. On the other hand the diving public will especially appreciate the newly adopted and published UNESCO Code of Ethics for Diving on Submerged Archaeological Sites, which shall ensure the respect for submerged heritage by each individual diver worldwide.


Furthermore, three major trainings are ongoing or will soon take place. A major UNESCO training in underwater archaeology, which will take 1 ½ month, is currently ongoing in the Spanish National Museum for Underwater Archaeology ARQUA in Cartagena, Spain. Another three month long conservation training has started on 26 September in Croatia in the Zadar International Centre for Underwater Archaeology, a centre operating under UNESCO auspices. A third, regional training course is organized by the UNESCO Bangkok Office under the project “Safeguarding the Underwater Cultural Heritage of Asia and the Pacific”. It will take place at the Khao Laem Ya-Moo Koh Samet National Park, Rayong Province, Thailand from 19 to 26 October 2011.


Other important upcoming conferences in 2011 include the International Conference for Underwater Archaeology IKUWA 4 in Zadar, Croatia (29.09. - 02.10.2011) and the Inaugural Asian Academy for Heritage Management (AAHM), which will take place in Manila, the Philippines (8 to 12 November 2011). A third conference, which will take place on 3 November 2011 in Washington, USA, will mark the 10th Anniversary of the UNESCO 2001 Convention as well as the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.


As the closing event of the year, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Catholic University of Leuven, is preparing a major scientific colloquium and a regional meeting for the EU. It will celebrate the 2001 Convention’s anniversary and is scheduled to take place in Brussels from 13 to 15 December 2011.

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