Launch of the Arab Regional Course for Capacity Building in the Field of Marine Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage

Today, Sunday, 26 February 2023, the Arab Regional Course for Capacity Building in the Field of Marine Archeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage was launched in Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in cooperation between the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage (ARC-WH), based in Manama, Bahrain, the Heritage Commission of the Ministry of Culture in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the UNESCO Chair for Underwater Cultural Heritage located in Alexandria University.

This course is organised in response to the growing global interest in marine archaeology and underwater cultural heritage and the mounting risks that could potentially threaten these monuments from changes in the environment and many manmade pressures. The course will run until 9 March 2023 and will be attended by a large number of experts and specialists in the field of archaeology from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the Kingdom of Bahrain, the Republic of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Palestine, Morocco, Lebanon, Oman and Jordan.

On this occasion, Dr. Heba Al-Aziz, director of ARC-WH, said that this session highlights the importance of continuing regional cooperation between institutions concerned with the cultural heritage of the Arab region, noting that the Arab world has submerged archaeological treasures that deserve to be known to the world. She praised the level of cooperation between ARC-WH, the Heritage Commission in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UNESCO Chair for Underwater Cultural Heritage at Alexandria University and the UNESCO Office – Doha, for the success of this meeting, which brings together a large number of experts to learn about the importance of cultural heritage.

During the workshop, participants will enter a series of theoretical lectures and practical applications, the first of which will introduce them to the development of marine archaeology and learn about underwater archaeology and cultural heritage in the Arab region. Underwater cultural heritage will also be addressed from an international perspective. Attendees will learn about the history of man with the sea, ancient techniques in shipbuilding and their development, marine ethnography, as well as ways to manage and preserve underwater cultural heritage in light of natural disaster risks and human practices.

From the practical side, participants will use modern technological tools such as two- and three-dimensional archaeological surveying, data processing, GPS tools, photography and video. Moreover, accompanied by professional instructors, attendees will experience diving at one of the sunken archaeological sites to train them in underwater archaeological survey skills, research training and archaeological recovery without affecting Salam.