The Archaeomap project – for Archaeological Management Policies – kicked off in the town of Palermo, on the Italian island of Sicily, on 7 December 2007. Financed by the European Commission to the tune of 480,000 euros, the project foresaw the establishment of an international committee to coordinate the elaboration of integrated science policies for the Mediterranean’s coastal zone. The aim was to develop a common framework for sustainable development of the zone to preserve its natural, cultural and underwater heritage.

Over the next two years, the archaeological treasures of ten pilot sites were studied: the Aegadian Islands off the northwest coast of Sicily and the Sinis Peninsula on the west coast of the island of Sardinia (both in Italy); the island of Pharos in Alexandria (Egypt); Gibraltar (UK); Empuria on Spain’s Costa Brava; the town of Villefranche-sur-Mer (France); Salonika Bay (Greece); the island state of Malta; and the Phoencian cities of Carthage (Tunisia) and Tyr (Lebanon).

Under the guidance of the international committee, the project developed innovative methodologies and interdisciplinary indicators for measuring progress towards sustainable development of the Mediterranean coast. The Committee met twice a year in Alexandria (Egypt), Barcelona (Spain), Paris (France) and Palermo (Italy). Within this committee, La Soprintendenza del Mare of the region of Sicily was responsible for overall coordination of the project, and UNESCO for scientific coordination. The Archaeomap secretariat in Paris was hosted by UNESCO’s Division for Science Policy and Capacity-Building.

Archaeomap was born of a resolution of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2005 inviting the Organization to support a regional action plan for the sustainable development of the Mediterranean’s marine heritage, as follow-up to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002. UNESCO was asked to set up an international committee to study the contribution of science and culture to sustainable development in the Mediterranean. UNESCO’s Division of Science Policy and Sustainable Development subsequently drafted a project proposal which the Soprintendenza del Mare then submitted to the European Commission for funding on behalf of the co-sponsors.

UNESCO organized an international forum in 2009 to disseminate the information amassed by the Archaeomap project via a symposium and training workshop. International and national experts in natural, cultural and underwater heritage of the Mediterranean participated in the forum, during which UNESCO presented the World Heritage Convention (1972) and the Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001). Three of the ten pilot sites being studied by Archaeomap are World Heritage sites.


Contact : Scientific Coordinator Giannino S.

Archaeomap forum

March 2009 - UNESCO’s Division of Science Policy and Sustainable Development organized an international forum from 24 to 27 March to disseminate the information amassed over the previous year by the Archaeomap project, via a symposium and training workshop. International and national experts in natural, cultural and underwater heritage of the Mediterranean will participate in the forum. In the mid-term assessment of the Archaeomap project, the International Committee noted that the Mediterranean constitutes one of the most attractive fields of application, not only for science policies to protect coastal archaeological sites from human-induced damage but also for precise studies to develop a strategy for reducing disaster risk for world heritage properties. They observed that the Mediterranean basin is ‘a highly active geological puzzle where seismic, volcanic and tsunami activities are particularly abundant and relatively well recorded.’ Read the agenda. Read the background to the meeting.

Committee meets for third time

December 2008 - The international commmittee for the Archaeomap project met for the third time from 15 to 17 December in Rome.
Read the programme

Committee meets for second time

March 2008 - The international commmittee for Archaeomap met for the second time on 6 and 7 March in Girona on the Spanish coast. Read the programme.

Committee meets for first time

December 2007

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