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Call for Applications: Basic Underwater Archaeology Course 2013 (Deadline: 15 May 2013, 12am)


The International Centre for Underwater Archaeology Zadar (ICUA) is organising a 2-week basic training course on underwater archaeology, due to take place in Zadar, Croatia, on 3rd – 15th June 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) instruction in the basic techniques of underwater archaeological excavation. Archaeologists from ICUA, Han-Vrana and the University of Zadar will conduct theoretical lessons, complemented by courses in diving and specialty diving according to the requirements of the SSI or PADI system. Practical instruction will take place in the frame of archaeological researches in the Pakoštane, 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 participate in underwater archaeology researches.
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 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 participate in underwater archaeology researches.
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 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.

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

Tentative Programme

Programmed activities will include:

  • Week one (3-8 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 SSI or PADI methodology. It will be possible to attend one of the following courses: Open Water Diver, Stress & Rescue Course, CPR & First Aid Course, or Specialty Courses (Night dive, Boat Diving, Navigation, Wreck Diving, Deep diving, etc). 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
  • Week two (10-15 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. Lectures will be conducted according to the ICUA program for underwater archeology, and expanded on basis of underwater archeology at the University of Zadar. All participants will take part in archaeological excavations of the ancient site for on-site training. Participants completing this course will receive 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:

  1. Mladen Pešić, ICUA: Underwater survey techniques
  2. Luka Bekić, ICUA: Protection of the underwater cultural heritage
  3. Guest lecturer, RGK: Underwater photogrametry
  4. Mladen Pešić, ICUA: Underwater documentation
  5. Mate Parica, UNIZD: Underwater finds and features
  6. Mato Ilkić. UNIZD: Maritime and seafaring archaeology
  7. Marko Meštrov, Han-Vrana: Seafaring in Pašman channel in ancient times

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 postprocessing of data
  • 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. Participants will also have to give a final exam (composed of 18 questions), necessary in order to obtain the official ICUA 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
  • 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 15 May 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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