Underwater Cultural Heritage of Banco Chinchorro (Mexico)

Chinchorro Bank

The site:

Since 2006, the Sub-Directorate of Underwater Archaeology of the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) has integrated the underwater cultural resources chart of the Chinchorro Bank. The studies developed aim to understand the process of formation and transformation of submerged archaeological sites and to make diagnoses concerning their conditions for preservation and identification of threats that affect or could affect the integrity of such heritage.

69 sites have been identified; they are the result of maritime accidents such as shipwrecks, cargo relief or the abandonment of nautical objects. Among these sites and following studies, five wrecks of different types were selected to promote their public visit and thus promote the acquisition of knowledge and the enhancement of the underwater cultural heritage.

The project:

As part of the project on this site, documentation of the shipwreck sites has been put in place. Similarly, archaeological materials that are subject to the risk of looting or that constitute chronological or cultural references have been recovered and allow for an analysis of the context. The aim of this project is to obtain information on shipwrecks or maritime accidents in the area and to reconstruct the history of ships and the people who have played a role in the life and use of ships.

In the 69 contexts recorded, it was determined that eleven of them should be addressed in the short term and 19 in the medium term.

Public access:

Responsible public access to Chinchorro Bank is based mainly on a participatory approach. Indeed, the latter is encouraged by the training of tour operators with diving courses on wrecks but also by the implementation, by public authorities, of brochures and virtual guides of wrecks offered for public visits accessible to different types of audiences; the aim being to make known the value of underwater cultural heritage and promote its protection.

This approach also includes the integration of fishermen and tour operators into the activities developed by the project. Indeed, INAH highlighted the economic interest of the activity to strengthen the sense of co-responsibility and ownership for the long-term preservation of underwater cultural heritage.

Contact Information:

Website: http://amigosdelmar.net/banco-chinchorro-diving-snorkeling/

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