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Call for Applications: Advanced Underwater Archaeology Course 2013 (Deadline: 9 July 2013, 12am)


The International Centre for Underwater Archaeology (ICUA) in Zadar is launching its second Advanced Underwater Archaeology Course. The course will have a duration of 2 weeks and will take place in Pula, Croatia, from 16th September to 28th September 2013. The course is organized with the support of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe (UNESCO Venice Office).
The course will consist of theoretical and practical (hands on) instructions in the techniques of underwater archaeological excavation, data processing and use of new technologies in underwater documentation. Archaeologists from ICUA and guest lecturers will conduct theoretical lessons, complemented by optional courses in specialty diving according to the requirements of the SSI or PADI system. Practical instruction will take place in the frame of underwater archaeological researches of ancient shipwrecks in Ližnjan, 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 at least some basic practical underwater archaeology experience. The course is designed to develop advanced skills and experience in underwater archaeological work and project planning basics.
Participation costs, intended as board and lodging for the participants, plus teaching activities and use of diving equipment during the course, will be covered by the organizers. Participants will be admitted to the study programme based on the specific requirements that apply.


The maximum number of trainees will be of 6 persons.
Participation costs for a maximum of 4 applicants will be covered by the organizers, according to the provisions of session 3 of this Call for Applications. NB: only citizens of the following countries are eligible for requesting the coverage of participation costs: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Republic of Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Turkey.
2 posts will be reserved for additional participants willing to cover their own participation costs, irrespectively of their country of provenance.
Expected profile of participants: archaeologists (including researchers, or university students enrolled in study courses for 2nd level degrees) with diving experience, who are expected to work as members of underwater archaeological teams.
Language skills: participants must be proficient in the English language, English being the working language of the course.

Participation costs

Selected applicants will receive, free of charge:

  • Accommodation (board and lodging) during the course
  • Local transfers to the training sites
  • SSI/PADI manual
  • NAS 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

Selected applicants 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.

Additional participants covering their own costs should apply for the rates.

Tentative Programme

Programmed activities will include:

  • Two weeks (16. September 2013. to 28. September 2013. course on underwater archeology. The theoretical part of the course will be conducted at diving center in Pula, and a practical part at the nearby archaeological site of Uljeva, Ližnjan. Lectures will be conducted according to the ICUA course for underwater archeology. All participants will take part as novice members of a team in archaeological excavations of the ancient shipwrecks for on-site training. Participants completing this course will receive ICUA official certificate of successful course completion.

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

  • Mladen Mustaček, HRZ: Introduction in the conservation of underwater finds
  • Mladen Pešić, ICUA: Amphorae in archaeological context
  • Luka Bekić, ICUA: Research and publication of project results
  • Miran Erič, ZVKDS: Advanced methods and techniques of underwater documentation
  • Josip Višnjić, HRZ: Postmedieval pottery finds in Adriatic
  • Mladen Pešić, ICUA: 3D survey and computer postprocessing of data

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 SSI or PADI methodology. It will be possible to attend one of the Specialty Courses (Night dive, Boat Diving, Navigation, Wreck Diving, Deep diving, Nitrox). 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.

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:

  • 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 photo documentation of a trench and a site
  • Lifting of heavy objects from the sea bottom
  • Packing, labeling and transport of finds
  • Underwater drawing documentation and post-processing of data
  • Practical use of Site Recorder computer program for documenting of the site
  • Area survey with use of a boat mounted side scan sonar

After the course, trainees are expected to be ready to work independently on any of the tasks included in the course’s programme. In addition, participants will have to give a final exam (composed of 18 questions), necessary in order to obtain the official ICUA Advanced underwater archaeology certificate.


  • university education (minimum first-level degree) on archaeology or related fields
  • at least initial scuba diving knowledge (OWD)
  • limited practical underwater archaeology experience
  • 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

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.


Applicants shall send to ICUA the following documents, by no later than 9 July 2013, 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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