Robert Parthesius

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R (Robert) Parthesius
Robert Parthesius.png
Title(s) Dr.
Initials R
First name Robert
Surname Parthesius
Gender male
Country of Residence the Netherlands
Function Director
Education Phd History University of Amsterdam
Post address

PO Box 11125

2301 EC Leiden
Maritime Heritage, VOC, Research, Curating, European Expansion

Robert Parthesius has been working on the interface between history and archaeology of the maritime history and European expansion since the 1980's.

Until 1995 he coordinated the research for the reconstruction project on the VOC-ship 'Batavia' in Lelystad. This work was the basis for a fruitful cooperation with the Western Australian Maritime Museum. In 1997 he organized the exhibition: ‘From Hartog to the Vlamingh’ covering the Dutch explorations of Australia. He was involved in various maritime archaeological projects. Most important was the Galle Harbour Project in Sri Lanka 1992-1999. Since 1999 he has coordinated the cooperation between The Netherlands and Sri Lanka in the field of Mutual Heritage. This cooperation resulted in the establishment of a Mutual Heritage Centre in Sri Lanka 2000. From this centre various Sri Lankan-Dutch projects cultural heritage projects have been carried out.

From 1998 till 2005 he worked as curator of the Amsterdam Historical Museum. Convinced of the importance of Public Awareness for historical-archaeological research he organized international exhibitions on the European-Asian cultural relations in the 17th and 18th centuries, and published several books and articles on various aspects of the Dutch maritime history. His ambition to establish an infrastructure for maritime archaeology in Asia, as part of a culture and development programme, was materialized in the Avondster project in the Bay of Galle through which a Maritime Archaeological Unit has been trained and established in Sri Lanka since 2001.

In 2005 he established the Netherlands Centre for International Heritage Activities. Since 2009 Robert is also a lecturer on Historical-Archaeology of the European expansion at the University of Leiden and is currently involved in Maritime Archaeological Programmes in Tanzania and South Africa.


Centre for International Heritage Activities
Leiden University Faculty of Archaeology

Organisations referring to this expert
Centre for International Heritage Activities
Leiden University Faculty of Archaeology

Technical Assistance Programme (TAP)
Dutch Reformed Church, Galle
Involvement of British and Portuguese partners in the activities of the Mutual Heritage Centre
Avondster project
Construction of Visitor Centre and Museum at Kataragama
Cultural Heritage Connections

Projects referring to this expert
Avondster project
Balance of the Museum Complex including Avondster Gallery
Construction of Visitor Centre and Museum at Kataragama
Cultural Heritage Connections
Dutch Colonialism, Migration and Cultural Heritage
Dutch Reformed Church, Galle
Indian-Dutch Heritage Symposium, April 12-13, Kochi (India)
Lecture series "Dutch shipwrecks and the early exploration of the Mythical Southland"
Maritime Archaeology Development Project
Netherlands ICOMOS Student Helpdesk
Official transfer of the Dutch ANCODS collection to Australia
Seminar Public Private Partnerships For the Sri Lankan Heritage Sector
Technical Assistance Programme (TAP)

Publications / Documents

Recent principal publications:
Parthesius, Robert (2010), Dutch Ships in Tropical Waters .The Development of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) Shipping Network in Asia, 1595-1660. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
Parthesius, R., Fienieg, A., (a.o). Heritage trails, International Cultural Heritage Policies in a European perspective. In: Oostindie, G. Dutch Colonialism, Migration and Cultural Heritage. pp23-62, Leiden
Parthesius, Robert (ed) (2007), Excavation report of the VOC-ship Avondster, The Anglo-Dutch East-Indiaman that was wrecked twice in Ceylon. Centre of International Heritage Activities special publication No. 1, Amsterdam


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