Underwater Cultural Heritage at Risk: Managing Natural and Human Impacts
The ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH) was founded in Australia in 1991 by ICOMOS Australia. The founding president was Graeme Henderson, director of the Western Australia Maritime Museum at Fremantle. The birth of the committee was in reaction to the pressing needs brought to light by the discovery and subsequent exploitation of the remains of the Titanic: it was now evident that technologies capable of working at great depth threatened both known and unknown wrecks that, up until recently, had been protected by their inaccessibility. The concept of a committee composed of international experts in underwater archaeology was thus born: this group of experts from eighteen countries had, as a goal, to assist ICOMOS International and UNESCO in promoting the protection and sound management of submerged cultural resources as an important part of humanity’s heritage.
Since underwater archaeology is a relatively new discipline, it is poorly understood in many countries and is often the object of false representations which particularly threaten the less well-to-do countries. These countries are often solicited by supposedly famous underwater archaeologists who exploit a country’s lack of knowledge of the field. ICUCH’s mission is to alleviate this lack of expertise throughout the world by acting as technical expert, by facilitating basic training in underwater archaeology and conservation of artefacts, and finally by putting pressure on countries or organisations that collaborate in the destruction of submerged heritage. The members of ICUCH are available to all: countries, organisations and individuals interested in the protection and sound management of cultural resources found underwater.
Cite this Record
Underwater Cultural Heritage at Risk: Managing Natural and Human Impacts. Robert Grenier, David Nutley, Ian Cochran. Heritage at Risk Special Edition. Munich, Germany: ICOMOS - International Council on Monuments and Sites. 2006 ( tDAR id: 375183) ; doi:10.6067/XCV8B56MQZ
Atherley Narrows Fish Weirs • Avondster Shipwreck • BZN 10 Shipwreck • Elizabeth and Mary Shipwreck • Geelkrans • HMS Swift Shipwreck • Molasses Reef Wreck • Monte Cristi Shipwreck Project (MCSP) • Noordkapper Point • Orio II Shipwreck • Orio I Shipwreck • Playa Damas Shipwreck Project • Port of San Francisco de Campeche Shipwrecks • Port Royal • Princes Channel Shipwreck • Queen of Nations Shipwreck • RMS Titanic Shipwreck • Santa Fé La Vieja • Solway Shipwreck • SS Maori Shipwreck • SS Yongala Shipwreck • Steam Collier Lady Darling Shipwreck • Steam Collier Myola Shipwreck • Urbieta Wreck • USS Monitor Shipwreck • William Salthouse Shipwreck
Basque Region, Spain • Cayman Islands • Jamaica • Quebec, Canada • South Africa • Sri Lanka • Turks & Caicos Islands • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nort (Country) • United States
General Note: ICOMOS report summarizes underwater cultural heritage management case studies from multiple locations around the world.
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