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 Call for Applications: Advanced Underwater Archaeology Course 2014

1. Introduction

The International Centre for Underwater Archaeology (ICUA), category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO, in Zadar, is launching its third Advanced Underwater Archaeology Course. It will last 2 weeks and will take place in the Pula area, Croatia, from 15 to 27 September 2014. The course is organized with the support of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (Venice, Italy).

The course will consist of theoretical and practical (hands on) instruction in techniques of underwater archaeological excavation, recording, data processing and the use of new technologies in underwater documentation. Archaeologists from the ICUA and guest lecturers will conduct theoretical lessons, supplemented by optional courses in specialty diving, in line with the requirements of the SSI or PADI system. Practical instruction will take place in the context of underwater archaeological surveys of ancient shipwrecks in the area surrounding Pula and will teach participants what it means to be part of an underwater archaeological excavation team.

The course is aimed at archaeologists who have diving experience and at least some basic experience of practical underwater archaeology. It is designed to provide participants with advanced skills and training in underwater archaeology and basic project planning.

Participation costs, which include board and lodging for participants, as well as teaching activities and the use of diving equipment, will be covered by the organizers, as specified below in section 2 of the present Call. Participants will be admitted to the study programme based on the specific requirements that apply.

2. Participants

The course will accept a maximum of 8 trainees.
Participation costs for the first 4 selected applicants will be covered by the organizers, in accordance with the provisions set out in section 3 of this Call for Applications. NB: only citizens of the following countries are eligible for the coverage of participation costs: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey.

4 posts will be reserved for additional participants willing to cover their own participation costs, irrespective of their country of provenance.

Expected profile of participants: archaeologists (including researchers, or university students enrolled in graduate level degrees) with diving experience, who intend to qualify as members of underwater archaeological teams.

Language skills: participants must be proficient in English, as it is the working language of the course.

3. Participation costs

Selected applicants eligible for the coverage of participation costs in accordance with section 2 of the present Call (maximum 4) will receive, free of charge:

  •  Accommodation (board and lodging) for the duration of the course
  •  Local transport to the training sites
  •  Scuba School International (SSI)/ Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) manual
  •  Nautical Archaeological Society manual
  •  UNESCO manual on CD
  •  Rented diving equipment (optional)
  •  Insurance against diving accidents and injury
  •  SSI/PADI Diving Certificate (optional)
  • ICUA certificate of attendance and successful completion of the course
  • ICUA T-shirt

Selected applicants will NOT receive:

  • reimbursement or contributions for their travel to/from Pula
  • a daily allowance or any other form of additional financial support during the course.

Applicants willing to cover their own participation costs are encouraged to contact ICUA for information concerning participation fees.

4. Tentative Programme

Scheduled activities will include a two-week (15 to 27 September 2014) course on underwater archaeology. The theoretical part of the course will be held in a diving centre in the Pula area, whereas practical lessons will take place at the ancient shipwrecks near Pula. Lectures will be conducted based on the ICUA course curriculum for underwater archaeology. As part of their on-site training, all participants will take part in archaeological excavation of the ancient shipwrecks as members of a team, and will gain practical experience in working with different types of underwater surveillance technology. At the end of the course, participants will receive an official ICUA certificate of successful course completion.

Lectures on underwater archaeology will be conducted in Ližnjan County hall every morning from 08:00-10:30 as follows:

  • Anita Jelić, ICUA: Introduction to the conservation of underwater finds
  • Mladen Pešić, ICUA: Amphorae in an archaeological context
  • Luka Bekić, ICUA: Research and publication of project results
  • Miran Erič, ZVKDS: Advanced methods and techniques of underwater documentation
  • Sašo Poglajen, Harpha sea: Multi-beam echo-sounder (MBES) survey and computer postprocessing of data
  • (optionaly: Josip Višnjić, HRZ: Postmedieval pottery finds in the Adriatic)

It will also be possible to obtain additional training in diving. The optional courses will be conducted in English, in line with the SSI or PADI methodology. Participants will also be able to attend a specialised course (Night diving, Boat diving, Navigation, Wreck diving, Deep diving, Nitrox). Both theoretical and practical courses will be conducted by SSI/PADI certified instructors. Participants completing one of these courses will receive an official SSI/PADI Certificate.

Mandatory practical exercises in underwater archaeology will be conducted on a daily basis, with participants divided into groups of two or four, on the following topics:

  • Logistical organization of personal and team equipment
  • Basic boat operations
  • Use of water pump and hoses
  • Underwater use of water dredge in a trench excavation
  • Underwater photographic documentation of a trench and a site
  • Packing, labelling and transport of finds
  • Underwater drawn documentation and post-processing of data
  • Practical use of Site Recorder computer programme for documenting of the site and/or Multi-beam echo-sounder (MBES) survey
  • Area survey with use of a boat mounted side scan sonar
  • Dry suit diving

Upon completing the course, trainees are expected to have acquired the necessary skills to work independently on any of the tasks covered by the programme. In addition, participants will be required to sit for a final exam (consisting of 18 questions) in order to obtain the official ICUA Advanced Underwater Archaeology Certificate.

5. Requirements

  • university degree (minimum undergraduate) in archaeology or related fields
  • basic scuba diving knowledge (SSI OWD/ CMAS R1 or equivalent)
  • some practical experience of underwater archaeology
  • a medical certificate ensuring fitness for diving, not older than 1 month
  • be at least 18 years old
  • professional experience in archaeology and/or management and preservation of underwater archaeological sites will be considered an asset
  • current professional affiliation to public institutions responsible for the safeguarding of cultural heritage will be considered an asset

6. Selection criteria

Selection will be made based on the applicants' professional and educational profiles as presented in the application documents.
Priority will be given to applicants affiliated to public authorities (at a local or national level) involved in the safeguarding and management of cultural heritage, particularly in relation to underwater cultural heritage.
Applications with similar professional profiles will be selected based on their academic qualifications.
Letters of recommendation from parent institutions and/or relevant national authorities will also be considered an asset.
The selection will seek to take into account geographical distribution, gender balance, and the participation of more than one applicant from the same country will be avoided as far as possible.

7. Application

Applicants should submit the following documents to ICUA, no later than 11 July 2014, 12:00 am:

  • Curriculum Vitae (on Europass CV template)
  • Statement of motivation
  • Optional: References from relevant national authorities and/or a parent institution in charge of the safeguarding of cultural heritage.

Applications and supporting documents must be sent by e-mail to ICUA Zadar (to the attention of Mr. Mladen Pesic, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and copied to the UNESCO Venice Office (to the attention of Mr. Matteo Rosati, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).
Incomplete applications, applications sent after the above-mentioned deadline, and applications not sent to both e-mail addresses provided will be rejected.