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Call for Applications: Basic Underwater Archaeology Course 2019

Call for Applications: Basic Underwater Archaeology Course 2019

(Deadline: 28th June 2019)

1. Introduction

The International Centre for Underwater Archaeology Zadar (ICUA) is organizing a 2-week Basic underwater archaeology course that will take place in Zadar, Croatia during period from 2nd – 13th September 2019.

The course will consist of theoretical and practical (hands on) instruction in underwater documentation and archaeological excavation. The main aim of the course is to to allow the participants acquire the best possible knowledge of basic underwater archaeology research techniques.

The course is organized with financial support of the Ministry of culture of the Republic of Croatia. Practical organization is coordinated by ICUA in cooperation with lecturers and instructors from Global History of Capitalism Project (Oxford Centre for Global History, University of Oxford) from United Kingdom, Römisch-Germanische Kommission (RGK) from Germany and guest lecturer from Archaeological museum in Zadar. Theoretical lessons will be held in ICUA premises. Practical instruction will take place in the frame of archaeological researches on the roman harbor site Sukošan, Zadar environs. The basic archaeology course will be complemented by courses in specialty diving according to the requirements of the SSI / PADI system.

2. Participants

The maximum number of trainees will be 6 people.

Expected profile of participants: archaeologists (including researchers, or university students enrolled in study courses for 2nd level degrees) with some diving experience, as well as experts in different disciplines (conservators, geologists, marine biologists, etc) who are interested in developing multidisciplinary skills and participating in underwater archaeology researches.

Language skills: participants must be proficient in the English language, since English will be official language of the course.

3. Tentative Programme


LectureDiving Course - Buoyancy/ OrientationDiving Course - Buoyancy/ OrientationIntroduction to underwater archaeology and course aimsIntroduction to 2D and 3D documentationUnderwater photogrammetry

Field trip

Nin/ Biograd



-checking diving equipment

- Visit to the ICUA premises and Gallery

- 2D drawing documentation, grid frame-Photogrammetry and post processing of data



- Test dive

- Getting to know the site

- 2D drawing documentation, grid frame

- Setting the fixed points

- Underwater Photogrammetry exercise


LectureShipwrecks, settlements and harbors: Site types in underwater archaeologyMethods of surveying and archaeological excavationOrganizing of archaeological excavation and publishing of the resultsNew methods in underwater documentation
Conservation and restoration of underwater finds



-Site Recorder

post processing of data

- Basic operations with underwater pump

- Packing and labeling of the finds

-Basic operations with underwater pump

-Photo-documentation of the finds

-Processing excel table with special finds

- Returning the diving equipment

- Final party



- Basic boat operations-Operating with Side Scan Sonar



- Underwater measuring of the finds inside the grid (3D documentation)

- Search and survey methods

- Measuring the finds inside the field

- Setting the fixed grid frame

- Underwater excavations

-Underwater excavations

-Sample collection

- Underwater excavations

- Covering the site with geotextile

Programmed activities will include:

● Week one: Beginning of the course is aimed for participants with scarce diving experience or to ones who wish to advance in diving specialty. The course is conducted in English, according to SSI / PADI methodology. Participants will attend Buoyancy and Orientation course in order to prepare for the activities in the underwater archaeology field. Courses in theoretical and practical part will be lead by SSI / PADI certified instructors. Participants completing any of these courses will receive an official SSI / PADI Certificate.
Second part of week one will aim at introducing participants to the methods of documenting the site using different measuring techniques and basic photogrammetry methods. Theoretical part of the course will be conducted at ICUA Zadar, and a practical part at the archaeological site in Sukošan.

● Week two: As in previous week, the theoretical part of the course will be conducted at ICUA Zadar, and a practical part in Sukošan, at the archaeological site. Lectures will be conducted according to the ICUA program for underwater archeology, and expanded on basis of underwater archeology experience of lecturers from University of Oxford and RGK. All participants will take part in archaeological excavations of the ancient site for on-site training, get basic insight of boat operations and work with side-scan sonar, work with documentation and archaeological material and get practical experience in many other aspects regarding field work in underwater archaeology. Participants completing this course will receive an ICUA official certificate of successful course completion.

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

1. Introduction to underwater archaeology and course aims
2. Mladen Pešić, ICUA: Introduction to 2D and 3D documentation
3. Roko Surić, ICUA: Underwater photogrammetry
4. Lisa Briggs, Global History of Capitalism Project: Shipwrecks, settlements, and harbours: Site types in Underwater Archaeology
5. Maja Kaleb, ICUA: Methods of surveying and archaeological excavation
6. Luka Bekić, ICUA: Organizing of archaeological excavation and publishing of the results
7. Roman Scholz, RGK: New methods in underwater documentation
8. Antonija Jozić, ICUA: Conservation and restoration of underwater finds
9. Dino Taras, Archeoogical museum in Zadar, guest lecturer

Underwater archaeology course practical exercises which every participant has to learn are divided by the days:

- Orientation exercises: 180°, 120°, 90°
- Searching exercises
- Spot marking
- Underwater photo documentation of a trench and a site
- Methods of underwater 2D and 3D documentation
- Basic methods of photogrammetry
- Post processing of data in Site Recorder
- Use of water pump and hoses
- Underwater use of water dredge in a trench excavation
- Packing, labeling and transport of finds

After the course, participants are expected to be diving proficient and to have basic practical insight in underwater archaeological techniques.

4. Participation costs

There is no fee for the selected participants. During their stay in Zadar, ICUA will provide:

- Accommodation in ICUA Dormitories during the course
- Local transfers to the training sites
- Rented diving equipment (if they do not have their own)
- The NAS Guide to Principles and Practice and new issue of Submerged Heritage
- Insurance against injury
- SSI / PADI manual (optional)
- SSI / PADI Diving Certificates (optional)
- ICUA certificate of attendance and successful completion of the course.

Selected applicants 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.

5. Requirements

- university education (minimum first-level degree) on archaeology or related fields
- minimum Open Water Diver (OWD), CMAS* or an equivalent diving certificate
- medical certificate ensuring fitness for diving
- at least 18 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

6. Selection Criteria

Applications will be assessed and selected based on the professional and educational profiles as presented in the application documents.
Priority will be given to applicants coming from 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.
Possible letters of support from parent institutions 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.

7. Application

Applicants should send to ICUA the following documents, no later than 28th June 2019, 12am:

- Curriculum Vitae (on Europass CV template)
- copy of the diving card
- valid diving medical certificate ensuring fitness for diving

Participants will have to present diving insurance upon getting official information for acceptance to the course.

Applications and accompanying documentation (short CV, copy of diving certificate, copy of valid medical certificate ensuring fitness for diving) should be sent by e-mail to the attention of Ms. Maja Kaleb ( mkaleb@icua.hr). Deadline for submission of the documents is 28th June 2019. All applicants will be informed about acceptance by 5th July 2019.

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