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Research project

Developing collaborative initiatives and capacity building for the sustainable management of maritime cultural heritage in the Gaza Strip

Project overview

This is a project building on a remote survey that has identified and assessed the condition of vulnerable maritime sites in the Gaza Strip. The survey was followed by an in-situ reconnaissance by a consultant of the Maritime Endangered Archaeologies of the Middle East and North Africa Project (MarEA), who visited sites in Gaza and convened with the Department of Antiquities, through which they identified two archaeological sites under imminent risk.

The aim of the proposed project is to document these two sites (Tell Qatif and Tell Ruqeish) in detail in collaboration with the Department of Antiquities and the Islamic University of Gaza. The site documentation will be structured as a unique for the region maritime archaeological fieldschool that will involve 8 archaeology students, a ceramic specialist, a GIS specialist, a geomorphologist and a scientific diver. All participants, as well additional heritage professionals from the Department of Antiquities will receive training in maritime archaeology. Training will take the form of six 2-hour long training videos prepared by the MarEA project, followed by a live Q&A session.

Through the above, the project anticipates enhancing local archaeological expertise of heritage managers and policy makers. Moreover, it will establish a strong and lasting collaborative network between the University of Southampton and research institutions in Palestine, highlighting also new approaches for remote collaboration between UK institutions and in-country stakeholders. Effective remote collaboration has been among the key challenges of travel restrictions relevant to the pandemic. The pandemic offered a unique opportunity to identify creative and alternative approaches to sharing research and expertise, which is crucial in cultural heritage research in the MENA region.


Lead researcher

Dr Georgia Andreou

Senior Research Fellow

Research interests

  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Eastern Mediterranean
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