Maritime Archaeology in Sri Lanka

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Avondster Project Poster

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The VOC’s presence in Sri Lanka, and of other trading companies, has resulted in a rich maritime heritage (above and under the water surface). There are two main projects that focuses on underwater heritage: Avondster project and the UNESCO fieldschool for Underwater Cultural Heritage (see also website of UNESCO Bangkok Underwater Cultural Heritage in Asia Pcific Waters. The latter is a project that is initiated in line with the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001). The aim of this project is to provide courses in underwater archaeology and conservation, and to encourage knowledge exchange between countries. The Avondster project had been set up after the discovery of the Anglo-Dutch East-Indiaman Avondster in the Bay of Galle in 1993. Its aim was to conduct survey and to excavate and conserve the site and artefacts, through involvement of Sri Lankan professionals. As a result, a Mutual Heritage Centre and a Maritime Archaeological Unit were established.


Sri Lankan experts

Mohan Abeyratne

Wijamunige Chandaratne

A.M.A. Dayananda

Anusha Kasturi

Rasika Muthucumarana

Gamini Saman

Darshani Samanthilaka

Sudharshan Seneviratne

Kamal de Soyza

Janake Warusavithana

K. D. Palita Weerasinghe

Maritime institutions in Sri Lanka

Coastal Conservation Department

Maritime Archaeological Unit at the Postgraduate Institute of Archaeology, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka

National Aquatic Research and Development Agency

Ocean University, Sri Lanka

Partner organisations

Amsterdam Museum

Central Cultural Fund

Department of Archaeology Sri Lanka

Department of National Museums, Sri Lanka

Bangkok Underwater Cultural Heritage in Asia-Pacific Waters

Nautical Archaeology Society

Western Australian Maritime Museum


Avondster project

Balance of the Museum Complex including Avondster Gallery

Budget Support to Central Cultural Fund as post Tsunami support

Conservation Laboratory for Maritime and Underwater Archaeology at Galle

Galle Harbour Project

Development of the Functions of the Maritime Archaeology Museums to be established in Galle

Establishment of an Oceanographic institute affiliated to the UNESCO Asia Pacific Maritime Archaeology Training Centre in Galle

Maritime & Underwater Cultural Heritage Programme (MUCH)

Re-construction of the Maritime Museum

< Go to the Sri Lanka page | Go to the Maritime Archaeology main page >

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