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Call for Applications: Advanced Underwater Archaeology Course 2012 (Deadline: 3. August 2012)


The International Centre for Underwater Archaeology (ICUA) of Zadar is organizing a 2-week "Advanced underwater archaeology course" (hereinafter, the Course),due to take place in Pula, Croatia, from September 10 to September 22, 2012. The course is organised with the support of the UNESCO Office in Venice. Deadline for applications is August 3, 2012, 3pm.
The course will consist of theoretical and practical (hands on) instructions in the techniques of underwater archaeological excavation. Archaeologists from ICUA and guest lecturers will conduct theoretical lessons, complemented by optional courses in specialty diving according to the requirements of the Scuba Schools International (SSI) system. Practical instruction will take place in the frame of underwater archaeological researches of ancient shipwrecks in the Pula environs, in order to prepare the participants to actively take part as a regular member of an underwater archaeological excavations team.
The course’s expected beneficiaries are archaeologists who have diving experience and some basic practical underwater archaeology experience. The course is designed to develop professional skills and capacities in underwater archaeological work and project planning.
Participation costs, intended board and lodging for the participants, plus teaching activities and use of diving equipment during the course, will be covered by the organisers. Participants will be admitted to the study programme based on the specific requirements that apply.


The number of participants is limited to maximum 4 persons from the countries of South-Eastern Europe (in particular: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey).

Expected profile of participants: archaeologists (including researchers, or university students enrolled in courses for 2nd level degrees) with diving experience and basic underwater archaeology experience.

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

Participation costs

Participants will receive, free of charge:

  • Accommodation (board and lodging) during the course
  • Local transfers to the training sites
  • SSI manual
  • NAS manual
  • Rented diving equipment (optional)
  • Insurance against diving accidents
  • SSI Diving Certificate (optional)
  • ICUA certificate of attendance and successful completion of the course

Participants will NOT receive:

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

Tentative Programme

Programmed activities will include:

Programmed activities will be scheduled over a 2-week period (10.9.2012. to 22.9.2012),and will comprise a theoretical part and practical exercises.

The theoretical part of the course will be conducted at the Pula diving center, and the practical part at the nearby archaeological site. Lectures will be conducted according to the ICUA and NAS course for underwater archeology.

Participants will be trained as members of a team in archaeological excavations of the ancient shipwrecks for on-site training. At the end of the course, participants will receive an ICUA official certificate of successful completion.

Underwater archaeology theoretical lectures are conducted every day in the morning hours (08:00-10:30) on the following subjects:

  • SSI: Project safety and logistics (Nenad Starčić)
  • Underwater archaeology project planning (Luka Bekić, ICUA)
  • Introduction in the conservation of underwater finds (Mladen Mustaček, HRZ)
  • Underwater documentation II (Mladen Pešić, ICUA)
  • Underwater finds and features II (guest lecturer)
  • Research and publication of project results (Luka Bekić, ICUA)
  • 3D survey techniques and digital documentation (Miran Erič, ZVKDS)

It is also possible for the participants to get some additional diving training if they wish to advance in the category or add diving specialty. The optional courses are to be conducted in English, according to Scuba Schools International (SSI) methodology. It will be possible to attend one of the following courses: Stress & Rescue Course, CPR & First Aid Course, or Specialty Courses (Night dive, Boat Diving, Navigation, Wreck Diving, Deep diving). Courses in theoretical and practical part will be lead by SSI instructors. Participants completing any of these courses will receive an official SSI Certificate.

Every participant will have to attend the following underwater archaeology course practical exercises, on daily bases:

  • Logistical organisation of personal and team equipment
  • Basic boat operations
  • Use of water pump and hoses
  • Underwater use of water dredge in a trench excavation
  • Underwater photo documentation of a trench and a site
  • Lifting of heavy objects from the sea bottom
  • Underwater drawing documentation and postprocessing of data
  • Packing, labeling and transport of finds

Participants will be required to work both independently and as part of a team, on any of the foreseen tasks during the course progress. In addition, participants will have to pass a final exam composed of 18 questions in order to obtain the official certificate of successful course completion

Minimum requirements

  • University education (minimum first-level degree) on archaeology or related fields
  • Basic scuba diving knowledge (OWD)
  • Basic practical underwater archaeology experience
  • Medical certificate ensuring fitness for diving
  • At least 18 years of age

Selection criteria

Applicants will be assessed and selected based on their professional and educational profiles as presented in the application documents.
Priority will be given to professionals already affiliated to institutions (either at local or central level) responsible for safeguarding and/or researching underwater cultural heritage.
Possible letters of support from the respective National Commission for UNESCO, and/or the ministry of culture, and/or the parent institution competent for the safeguarding of cultural heritage will also be considered as an added value.
Applications from countries not included in the list mentioned above, under the section Participants, will be only considered in case no eligible applications are received from the countries in question.
In the selection, geographical balance will be sought and the selection of more than one applicant from the same country will be avoided as far as possible.
Priority will also be given to participants under 40 years of age.


Applicants shall send to ICUA the following documents, by no later than 03 August 2012, 3pm::

  • Curriculum Vitae (on Europass CV template)
  • Personal motivation letter
  • Optional: letters of support from the respective National Commission for UNESCO, and/or the ministry of culture, and/or the parent institution competent for the safeguarding of cultural heritage.

Applications and accompanying documents must be sent per email in electronic form to ICUA Zadar (to the attention of Mr. Mladen Pesic, mpesic@icua.hr) with copy to the UNESCO Venice Office (to the attention of Mr. Matteo Rosati, m.rosati@unesco.org ).

Incomplete applications and applications sent after the above-mentioned deadline will be rejected.

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