Human Resources Development in Indonesia's Underwater Archaeology

Dublin Core


Human Resources Development in Indonesia's Underwater Archaeology


Session 6
Empowerment and relevance in maritime and underwater cultural heritage programs in developing countries


The Indonesian archipelago position is located in a very strategic position at the crossroads of world maritime trade between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. According to archaeological and historical research, there is evidence that Indonesia has had a maritime nautical culture since prehistoric times. Some evidence of Indonesian maritime cultural civilization can still be found scattered on the ocean floor, including approximately 463 ancient ship location points according to data from the Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which is the Indonesian government agency that handles the field of culture, now has approximately 80 staff divers. Only a fraction of that number have competence in the field of underwater archaeology, so it is necessary to improve the knowledge and skills, not only in the field of diving but also the ability to conduct surveys, mapping, data recording excavation, and conservation. In the last five years, efforts to increase human resources in underwater archaeology in Indonesia continue to be done through various education and training, whether conducted in Indonesia or abroad facilitated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), such as in Thailand, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. The effort is certainly not optimal and systematic, so it is necessary to develop appropriate strategies both in quantity and quality. Indonesia needs an underwater archaeological development centre that will prepare a teaching module, instructor, certification and partnerships (networking), as well as supporting facilities and infrastructure. Through this institution we can expect human resources of underwater archaeologists to have the following abilities: (1) diving, (2) various regulations relating to underwater cultural heritage, (3) development of management plans, and recording and documenting sites, (4) procedures, methods, principles and ethics of underwater archaeology, (5) artifact conservation and storage, (6) traditional knowledge, and (7) publications and exhibitions. In the last five years we have implemented several training programs to further underwater archaeology in Indonesia where participants have acquired skills in diving, survey and conservation. More skills would greatly empower Indonesians in managing their underwater cultural heritage, particularly at an advanced underwater archaeology theory and practice level.


Judi Wahjudin


November 2011



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