Protecting Underwater Cultural Heritage in Caribbean Small Island States
The Underwater Cultural Heritage
The seabed is often called "the biggest museum of the world".
Underwater cultural heritage encompasses all traces of human existence that lie or were lying under water and have a cultural or historical character. This includes three million ancient shipwrecks such as the Titanic, the Belitung and 4,000 shipwrecks of the Kublai Khan sunken fleet. There are also sunken ruins and cities, like the remains of the Pharos of Alexandria, Egypt – one of the Seven Wonders of the World, as well as thousands of prehistoric sites.
Entire cities have been swallowed by the waves, and thousands of ships have perished at sea. While these ships, buildings and historical items are not frequently visible on the surface, their remains survived at the bottom of lakes, seas and oceans, safely preserved by the water environment.
They provide testimony to the various periods and aspects of our history, for example, the cruelty of the slave trade, the ferocity of wars, the impact of natural disasters, traces of sacred ceremonies and beliefs or the peaceful exchange and intercultural dialogue between faraway regions.
Discover the underwater cultural heritage:
- Submerged Landscapes
- Caves & Wells
- Traces of Marine Exploitation
- Databases of Underwater Cultural Heritage