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Call for Applications: Basic Underwater Archaeology Course 2024 (Deadline: 30th April 2024)

Datum: 03.06. - 14.06.2024. Kategorija: Tečaj podvodne arheologije
Lokacija: Zadar, MCPA

1. Introduction

The International Centre for Underwater Archaeology In Zadar (ICUA Zadar), category II centre under the auspices of UNESCO, is organizing a 2-week Basic underwater archaeology course that will take place in Zadar region, Croatia from June 3rd to 14th 2024.

The course will consist of theoretical and practical (hands on) instructions in the field of underwater archaeology i.e., techniques of underwater archaeological excavation and documentation of underwater sites and finds. The course is aimed at archaeologists who don’t have too much diving experience and underwater archaeology practical experience. It is designed to provide to the participants basic skills and training in underwater archaeology knowledge in project planning.

The course is organized with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic of Croatia. Practical organization is coordinated by ICUA Zadar and other guest lecturers and associates. Theoretical lesson will be held in morning or evening hours, while practical instruction and excavation will take place around noon in the vicinity of Zadar. After successfully completing the exercises, the practical part related to the underwater archaeological site research will take place in Rovanjska at the end of Velebit channel between Seline and Maslenica. During survey of Zadar County 2020., ICUA Zadar found the remains of two piers, one of which, based on the typological analysis of the objects found, dates back to Roman times.


2. Participants

The maximum number of trainees will be limited to 4 participants.

Expected profile of participants: students of archaeology who have some diving experience as well as experts in different disciplines (conservators, marine biologists, etc) who are interested in developing multidisciplinary skills and participating in underwater archaeology research and wish to learn the basics and gain experience in the underwater archaeological excavation.

Language skills: Participants must be proficient in English, as it will be the official language of the course.


3. Programme activities

Programmed activities will include:

● Morning hours at the beginning of the week are reserved for getting to know the ICUA Zadar premises and employees followed by a lecture on underwater cultural heritage of the Republic of Croatia and the methodology of underwater archaeology. Since the course is aimed at participants with less diving experience or those who wish to advance in diving skills, at the beginning of the week, the focus will be on diving and performing simple tasks under the sea, such as measuring and recording. The second part of week one will aim at introducing participants to different methods of documenting the site, including various measuring techniques. The theoretical part of the course will be conducted at ICUA Zadar premises, and all the participants will visit underwater archaeological sites in the Zadar area to demonstrate buoyancy and orientation skills, which will be documented using underwater cameras prepared by the course participants themselves.

● Week two: As in previous week, the theoretical part is reserved for morning hours and the briefing. Lectures will be held at ICUA premises. Practical part of the course will be at the archaeological site Rovanjska where Roman era pier was found. Lectures will be conducted according to the ICUA programme for basic underwater archaeology course. All participants will take part in archaeological excavations of the Roman site for on-site training, get basic insight of making documentation and deal with archaeological material for purpose of gaining practical experience in many other aspects regarding field work in underwater archaeology.

Participants completing this course will receive the ICUA official certificate of successful course completion.


Underwater archaeology theoretical lectures are conducted in the morning hours. ICUA Zadar reserves the right to change the schedule in case of unforeseen circumstances:


Doris Kurtov: ICUA Zadar – Mission, Organisation, and Recent activities

Maja Kaleb: Methodology of Underwater Archaeology

Mladen Pešić: Introduction to 2D underwater documentation

Antonija Jozić: Conservation and restoration of underwater finds

Roko Surić: Zadar area Survey – methods and results

Luka Bekić: Organizing of archaeological excavation and publishing of the results


Underwater archaeology course practical exercises which every participant has to learn are:

- Orientation exercises: 180°, 120°, 90°

- Searching exercises

- Spot marking

- Underwater photo documentation of a trench and a site

- Methods of underwater 2D and documentation

- Use of water pump and hoses

- Underwater use of water dredge in a trench excavation

- Packing, labeling and transport of the 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’s dormitory

- Weekly card for food costs up to 40 EUR per each participant

- 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

- 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

*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 affiliated institutions will also be considered as an added value.


7. Application

Applicants should send to ICUA the following documents, no later than 30th April 2024:

- Curriculum Vitae (on Europass CV template)

- Scan of the diving card

- Scan of 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 30th April 2024. All applicants will be informed of acceptance by 3rd May 2024.

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