The Institute of Archaeology and Heritage Studies is pleased to organize an underwater archaeology workshop for enthusiasts and people who are eager to learn underwater archaeology with resource persons and facilities from Maritime Archaeology Unit, Central Cultural Fund, Sri Lanka from 21st March 2022 to 25th March 2022 at Galle.

It will be a unique experience to learn from a panel of maritime archaeologists and conservators with international experience about the subject. It also will be a rare opportunity to dive shipwreck sites in Galle Habour with experts.

For more information, please call +94 70 789 9 789 or email


This workshop will be limited to a maximum of ten participants with valid diving certificates.

Application Deadline: March 18, 2022

Duration: Five Days

Course Fee: Rs. 75,000/= (Locals) / US$ 400/= (Foreigners)

This training program aims to enhance the theoretical and practical knowledge of the main components of underwater archaeology. As the IAHS with the MAU-CCF resources, we hope to provide an opportunity to the public to get trained and do fieldwork under the supervision of qualified maritime archaeologists. This is also a public awareness program aiming for the protection of the underwater cultural heritage of the country. During this program, participants will explore the seabed for archaeological remains and survey some of the ancient shipwrecks sunken in the Galle Habor.

  1. Introduction to underwater archaeology

Its vision, mission and scope/History of Underwater archaeology/ case studies/ Underwater, Maritime & Nautical Archaeology/ Underwater Cultural Heritage/New developments

  1. Shipwrecks of Sri Lanka

The strategic location of Sri Lanka/ Trade between east and west/ pre-colonial era/Godawaya/colonial period/ the world wars/ modern times/National shipwreck database

  1. Underwater Explorations

Types of finds/ Search methods/ visual, diver search methods/ remote sensing/ position fixing/ mapping and recording

Practical sessions (Land base and underwater survey activities included)

  1. Underwater recording techniques

Mud maps and sketchers/ offset system/ trilatoration/ technical drawings/ 3D measurements/recording software/ 3D modeling

Practical sessions (Land base and underwater recording exercises included)

  1. Artifact Conservation

Practical sessions (in laboratory/ hands-on artifact conservation practical included)

  1. Shipwreck diving tour

Dive session to a historical shipwreck site inside the Galle Harbour


Hands-on experience in conservation during the 2011 Underwater Archaeology Workshop


Time Monday (March 21, 2022) Tuesday (March 22, 2022) Wednesday (March 23, 2022) Thursday (March 24, 2022) Friday (March 25, 2022)
09.00 – 10.30 Inaugural/Introduction


Shipwrecks with stories the history of Maritime Arch. in Sri Lanka Shipwreck Diving 01

Site orientation/ site assessment/ site recording

Shipwreck Diving 02

Site orientation/ site assessment/ site recording

Underwater explorations/excavations
10.30-  12.30 Introduction to Underwater Archaeology Underwater Explorations Field Surveys/ Position Fixing Artefact Conservation

Practical session in the laboratory

Artefact Conservation

Practical session in the laboratory

In-situ conservation
Introduction to Artefact Conservation Practical – Search methods /survey tech Field Discussion Field Discussion
12.30- 13.30 Lunch break
13.30- 15.30 Conservation Lab/Diving unit/Museum Practical – Search methods /survey tech UCH Management

Legislation, public awareness and  tourism


Underwater Photography Visit to the Rumassala and watering point
15.30- 16.30 Diving gear check


Dive check

organize the first dive/ dive groups/rules and regulations/ Safety Visit to the Galle Fort, Lighthouse and Black Fort
16.30 Day Briefing Day Briefing Day Briefing Day Briefing Day Briefing and end of the program


Chandraratne Wijamunige B.A., M.Sc.
Maritime Archaeologist

PADI Diving Instructor (Professional Association of Diving Instructors)
Maritime Archaeology Unit, Central Cultural Fund, Galle – Sri Lanka


Rasika Muthucumarana B.A., M.Phil.
Maritime Archaeologist
PhD Candidate (Faculty of Graduate Studies, University of Sri Jayawardenepura, Colombo)
PADI Diving Instructor (Professional Association of Diving Instructors)
Member ICOMOS-ICUCH (International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage)
Maritime Archaeology Unit, Central Cultural Fund, Galle – Sri Lanka


Kamal De Zoysa B.Sc., M.Sc
Chemical Conservation Officer (Artif/Mural)

Maritime Archaeology Unit, Central Cultural Fund, Galle – Sri Lanka


This workshop will be limited to a maximum of ten participants. Application Dealine: March 18, 2022.

Application Deadline: March 18, 2022

Duration: Five Days

Course Fee: Rs. 75,000/= (Locals) / US$ 400/= (Foreigners)

During the field/diving work participants will be sorted into teams of two, each will be assigned to supervisors. The supervisor will be responsible for the participant’s work and their safety. Each diving day, divers will work on a specific shipwreck site where they will undertake a pre-disturbance survey and recording, both underwater and in the intertidal zone. All work will be weather-dependent. Each evening the weather and activities will be assessed and the group will be assigned a site/project to work on the following day.

This requires a great deal of flexibility on your part, as weather, safety, and personnel often demand changes in schedules. Each evening there will be a thirty-minute debriefing session during which we discuss the activities of the day and the planned activities for the following day. This will be an opportunity to discuss any issues with teams, diving, safety, and equipment. These sessions are considered mandatory.

There will be morning lectures to give you a clear idea about the field of maritime archaeology and to ease your fieldwork.The program will be held at the Maritime Archaeology Unit, Central Cultural Fund, Baladaksha Mawatha, Fort, Galle. Apart from that the lectures, library assessments, and report writing will be placed at the Maritime Archaeology Unit or in the Maritime Archaeology Museum, inside the Dutch fort.

The fieldwork will take place at the historical steam shipwreck sites in the Galle harbor. The site will be in preferable condition to dive and to other relevant activities. Personal Behavior – Remember that you are being represented as the MaritimeArchaeology Unit of the Central Cultural fund during your fieldwork. So be mindful of your language and behavior at all times. There will be the general public and some officials who are related to the harbour and Galle fort who will be interesting in what we are doing. They may come up to you and ask you what you are doing; endeavor to be polite and answer their questions or pass them over to a staff member or supervisor.

It is your responsibility to pick up and clean up after yourself, there are no cleaners or housekeepers associated with the MAU unit. Areas that get particularly messy are the diving unit and the washing area. Please make sure you keep these areas tidy. You need to clean up (wash) your diving gear after every dive; they are very expensive equipment and need to be handled carefully. Also, your life is depending on this equipment, under the water.

Diving Gear – SCUBA diving gears and tanks will be provided. If you have a gear that is well serviced and use regularly (especially the mask and fins fit yourself), feel free to bring it along (in case of emergency or breakdown). Weights will be provided for participants.

Underwater Archaeology divinig_2011_underwater_archaeology_workshop

Diving – 2011 workshop

Diving Requirements – The diving with Maritime Archaeology unit is operating under the theme of “Safety First”. Every participant who is willing to dive must hold a valid diving certificate such as PADI Open Water diving certification or similar to that. And also be fit to dive/ in good health.

In order to be qualified for the program, all participants are required to submit a copy of all requested by the call of applications: Copy of current dive logbook (have logged at least 10 dives and greater than 5 hours): this must be completed before starting the program, or you will NOT be allowed to participate in diving activities.

It is mandatory to keep a copy of your Open Water Certificate along, before commencing the program.

It is your responsibility to locate a proper doctor and have your medical conducted. Please do this early, as doctors may require additional specialist testing.

Diving Activities

Diving operations will be scheduled during daylight hours. It remains not only a right but as an obligation to every diver to decline to dive any particular site or assignment, if for no other reason than the diver simply does not feel comfortable with the situation. Every team member is committed to contributing to the excellence of diving safety. The total course fee would be 75,000 rupees or US$ 400 for foreigners. This includes Two shipwreck dives in the Galle Harbour (including equipment), Training Equipment and materials, Conservation laboratory facilities, Breakfast, Lunch, and Tea during the five days. The course does not provide accommodation. If you need any assistance to find accommodation, please let us know. we may be able to facilitate you to find a good place with basic facilities.

This workshop will be limited to a maximum of ten participants. Application Deadline: March 18, 2022.


Application Deadline: March 18, 2022

Duration: Five Days

Course Fee: Rs. 75,000/= (Locals) / US$ 400/= (Foreigners)