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Call for Applications: Basic Underwater Archaeology Course 2012 (Deadline: 15 May 2012)

The International Centre on Underwater Archaeology Zadar (ICUA) is organizing a 2-week basic training course on underwater archaeology, due to take place in Zadar, Croatia, on 4 – 15 June 2012. The course is organized with the support of the UNESCO Venice Office. The deadline for application is 15 May 2012, by 12 am.
The course will consist of theoretical and practical (hands on) instruction in the basic techniques of underwater archaeological excavation. Archaeologists from ICUA and the University of Zadar will conduct theoretical lessons, complemented by courses in diving and specialty diving according to the requirements of the Scuba Schools International (SSI) system. Practical instruction will take place in the frame of archaeological researches in the Zadar environs, in order to allow the participants acquire the best possible knowledge of basic research techniques.
The course’s expected beneficiaries are archaeologists who have no or scarce diving experience, as well as experts in different disciplines (conservators, geologists, marine biologists, etc) who are interested in developing multidisciplinary skills and participation in underwater archaeology researches.
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 (namely: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey).

Expected profile of participants: young archaeologists (including researchers, or university students enrolled in study courses for 2nd level degrees) with no or scarce diving experience, as well as young experts in different disciplines (conservators, geologists, marine biologists, etc) who are interested in developing multidisciplinary skills and participation in underwater archaeology researches.

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)
  • SSI Certificate specialty underwater archaeologist
  • ICUA certificate of attendance and successful completion of the course

Participants will NOT receive:

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

Tentative Programme

Programmed activities will include:

Week one (4-8 June). This part is optional, for participants with no or scarce diving experience): basic diving training for those who do not have diving category or wish to advance in the category or add diving specialty. The course is conducted in English, according to Scuba Schools International (SSI) methodology. It will be possible to attend one of the following courses: Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Stress & Rescue Course, CPR & First Aid Course, Dive-con 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

Week two (11-15 June): course on underwater archeology. The theoretical part of the course will be conducted at ICUA Zadar, and a practical part in Pakoštane, at the archaeological site of Janice. Lectures will be conducted according to the SSI program for underwater archeology, NAS course for underwater archeology, and the expanded on basis of underwater archeology at the University of Zadar. All participants will take part in archaeological excavations of the ancient port for on-site training. Participants completing this course will receive a SSI certificate for diving specialty underwater archeology, and an ICUA official certificate of successful course completion.

Underwater archaeology theoretical lectures are conducted every day in the morning hours from 08:00-10:30 as it follows:

  • Nenad Starčić, SSI: Underwater survey techniques
  • Luka Bekić, ICUA: Protection of the underwater cultural heritage
  • Roman Scholz, RGK: Underwater photogrametry
  • Mladen Pešić, ICUA: Underwater documentation
  • Mate Parica, UNIZD: Underwater finds and features
  • Mato Ilkić. UNIZD: Maritime and seafaring archaeology

Underwater archaeology course practical exercises which every participant has to learn are divided by the days, so each group of two-four students has to deal with them on daily bases:

  • Orientation exercises: 180°, 120°, 90°
  • Searching exercises
  • Spot marking
  • Use of water pump and hoses
  • Underwater use of water dredge in a trench excavation
  • Underwater photo documentation of a trench and a site
  • Underwater drawing documentation and post processing of data
  • Packing, labeling and transport of finds

Participants are expected to be diving proficient and to have basic practical insight in underwater archaeological techniques after the course. Participants also have to pass final exam which is composed of 18 questions and only then they will get ICUA and SSI Basic underwater archaeology certificate.


  • University education (minimum first-level degree) on archaeology or related fields
  • Swimming proficiency (optional initial diving knowledge)
  • Medical certificate ensuring fitness for diving
  • At least 18 years of age. Applicants are encouraged under 35 years of age
  • Professional experience in archaeology and/or management and preservation of underwater archaeological sites will be considered as a plus
  • Current professional affiliation to public institutions responsible for cultural heritage safeguarding will be considered as a plus

Selection criteria

Applications will be assessed and selected based on their professional and educational profiles as presented in the application documents.
Priority will also be given to applicants already employed or starting a career within public institutions (either at local or at central level) competent for the safeguarding and management of cultural heritage, and especially underwater cultural heritage whereas possible.
Applications with similar professional profiles will be enlisted based on the educational level. Priority will be given to participants under 35 years of age.
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.
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.


Applicants shall send to ICUA the following documents, by no later than 15 May 2012, 12am:

  • 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, applications sent after the above-mentioned deadline, and applications not sent to both the given email addresses will be rejected.

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