Progression of the Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage (MUCH) Programme
CIE along with our Tanzanian partners developed a new programme for awareness and capacity building in maritime underwater cultural heritage. We developed a second grand request upon invitation from the European Development fund, which was submitted in early 2013. The new activities seek to promote the socio-economic value of maritime and underwater heritage, and to position it within the broad scope of Tanzania's heritage context. The project will continue to use the Legacy Sites to represent the broad maritime and and underwater heritage of Tanzania. These sites also continue to be the focal points for our overall outreach programme.
A training workshop was hosted for the members of the Tanzania maritime and underwater cultural heritage team at the Zanzibar House of Wonders Museum. This workshop was used to improve upon and develop the database for maritime heritage in Tanzania. The workshop discussed the aims of the database; the possibility for its association with a sub-Saharan regional database and how to further its development. The outcome of the discussion supported the concept of developing the Tanzanian database in-line with the South African and regional databases. The meeting also allowed for decisions to be made over the continuation of an active programme for the Tanzanian team through surveying sites in Mafia.
UNESCO Regional Workshop
This event was attended by representatives from 9 different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Western Indian Ocean in Dar es Salaam. Members of UNESCO and CIE met with them to discuss the ratification of the UNESCO Convention for the Protection of Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001. A set of common themes emerged from discussions surrounding key issues, expectations and needs. All of the delegates felt that their countries and institutes would benefit from collaboration. The participants of this workshop developed and signed a Regional Group on Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage Collaboration Statement to attest to their solidarity in pursuing regional collaboration.
The Tanzanian government have been working towards the ratification of the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Maritime and Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001 since 2008. In 2010 CIE implemented the first stages of our capacity-building programme; aiming to identify, record, document and prepare a management plan for the maritime sites at the World Heritage Sites of Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara.
In November 9 team members of the Tanzanian maritime underwater heritage group, together with representatives from South Africa, Namibia and the CIE trainers, implemented an investigation into the maritime heritage around the two selected sites- Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara World Heritage Sites. The team was divided into two; the first implementing a survey and being trained with magnetometry, the second concentrating on intangible research, interviewing local individuals.
The underwater surveys continued on the Great Northern shipwreck as part of the team's NAS Part II certificate. The Great Northern sank in 1902 when it struct the Fungu Chamwamba Reef upon its return into Zanzibar. The wreck lies on the seabed off the south-west coast of Zanzibar, 8 kilometers from Stone Town. Non-disturbance surveys were taken to ascertain the identify, nature and condition of the remains. The team were also introduced to assessment survey diving using 3D survey and the Site Recorder computer program. They then undertook a non-systematic survey of artefacts nearby, as well as observing and recording the flora and fauna upon and around the wreck site. The second group conducted research into the archives and local oral histories, which indicated that there may be underwater sites dating to the 18th century and earlier, when the islands were wealthy Swahili ports. Ruins on two of the islands are further tangible evidence for the mercantile and slave trading eras of the past.
This survey lasted for two weeks, using methods such as magnetometry to identify underwater sites. Once a promising site was identified, the group members worked below the waves to search for evidence of shipwrecks.
A large part of the group's work also involved engaging the local community members through listening to their stories and explaining about our work in the area. There was much enthusiasm and positive feedback from the locals, who also expressed a desire to be more involved in the future work. Through the research and doumentation of these underwater sites, it is hoped thatwe can expand upon the historical and archaeological significance of these sites and provide positive spin-off effects for the local communities.
CIE commenced with implementing the first phases of the programme in 2009. In February a Memoranda of Understanding was signed by all the stakeholders, affirming their commitment to the programme and its joint aims.
In the early stages a group of trainees were formed, becoming the first maritime and underwater cultural heritage unit of Tanzania. This team subsequently undertook two days training in Zanzibar, which included the intial development of a maritime heritage database.
Following these initial stages, the next phase focused upon implementing theoretical and practical training of the group in conducting non-disturbance site survey of a shipwreck in the waters around Zanzibar. This was undertaken as part of the Nautical Archaeological Society (NAS) training programmes, which CIE holds a licence to carry out. A working group was formed from within the stakeholder trainees who would be working on the maritime and underwater cultural heritage database, compiling it using methods such as GIS and spatial techniques. The team is made up of trainees from the National Museum of Dar es Salaam, Marine Parks, the Department of Antiquities Dar es Salaam and in Zanzibar.
Public Lecture Series
A series of public lectures were organised at the University of Dar es Salaam in March, attended by around 40 people each time, made up of academics, students and the interested local public. This included some introductory practical training along the NAS training guidelines.
Stakeholder Awareness Meeting
CIE also organised this meeting in which the participants discussed the UNESCO convention, implementation of a maritime cultural heritage programme, outcomes and benefits of such a programme as this, as well as the ways in which to make this programme sustainable for the future. The invited attendees came from a number of groups including the Department of Antiquities, University of Dar es Salaam, Marine Parks, National Museum of Tanzania, Dutch Embassy in Dar es Salaam and the UNESCO Office at Dar es Salaam.
Training for Stakeholder Representatives
In April we began the training of the stakeholder representatives, beginning with an introduction into maritime and cultural heritage theory and practice, followed by site survey and documentation. For non-divers training began in the swimming pool, before being taken out to sea to gain their open water certificate. The training was completed under the NAS programme structure, commencing with diver training and refresher courses. The more experienced divers in the group completed a refresher course and then completed the survey of the Great Northern shipwreck. The survey of this shipwreck introduced the participants to the methods of fixing the position of a site through tagging, measuring, sketching and recording. Outcomes of Training: All of the participants obtained diving qualifications as well as gaining skills in implementing a site survey. They also completed and compiled a site inspection form and began to develop a site database.
In August 2008 CIE was requested by the Dutch Embassy in Tanzania to prepare an outline for a capacity building programme, assisting the Tanzanian authorities with the development of maritime archaeology and underwater cultural heritage management. The catalyst was the intention of the Tanzanian government to ratify the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage 2001. CIE began developing and assisting the Tanzanian authorities in the development of a capacity building in the field of underwater and maritime archaeological heritage. The project focuses upon educating future maritime archaeologists currently employed within the heritage sector, as well as apprentices who could potentially find employment in the field.