Developing the Foundation for Sustainable Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage Starting from Local Involvement: Case Studies in Okinawa

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Title

Developing the Foundation for Sustainable Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage Starting from Local Involvement: Case Studies in Okinawa

Description

The Ryukyu Archipelago is well known for its beautiful ocean and coral reefs; and thanks to these beautiful oceans, scuba diving and snorkeling and have become one of the most important activities for its tourist industry of the archipelago. Around the islands, 230 underwater cultural heritage sites were found and identified. In this presentation, the authors shall introduce their attempts and case studies regarding the public engagement of local communities with management of underwater cultural heritage, including providing guidelines for sustainable valorization of the site with local marine sports industry. For Yarabuoki underwater site of Ishigaki Island, there are seven iron grapnel anchors and a cluster of Early Modern Ryukyuwan ceramic jars (tsuboya-yaki). To establish a connection/relationship between the site and the local professional divers, who actually go into the sea and see the site most frequently, the authors provided workshops about UCH and a place where
archaeologists and the local professional divers can exchange their opinions. The goal of these activities is to ask professional divers of local communities help to monitor UCH after scientific evaluations led by archaeologists are completed. The Ohajima underwater site is located off the Coast of Kume Island in Okinawa. This site contains a dense distribution of medieval Chinese pottery. Public open-houses were experimentally organized twice for local communities. The Board of education from local communities (for instance, Kumejima Museum) and local diving communities were heavily involved and helped underwater archaeologists and the research team to organize this event.
After continuous attempts of public outreach, public awareness and interests for UCH among the local diving communities has increased. More divers have started visiting the sites. However, an increase in public awareness creates another concerns that it exposes the UCH sites into social media such as blogs by visitors, articles on diving magazines, and so on. Henceforth, the next challenge confronting the authors and the local communities regarding these sites are plans to properly monitor those sites and a proposal for a reliable long-term management plans. More importantly, these monitoring and management plans have to involve wide varieties and different type of local communities.

Creator

Yumiko Nakanishi
Rintaro Ono
Norimitsu Sakagami
Hironobu Kan
Chiaki

Publisher

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Date

11/24/2017

Rights

Yumiko Nakanishi
Rintaro Ono
Norimitsu Sakagami
Hironobu Kan
Chiaki

Files

NakanishiFINAL.pdf

Citation

Yumiko Nakanishi et al., “Developing the Foundation for Sustainable Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage Starting from Local Involvement: Case Studies in Okinawa ,” The MUA Collection, accessed June 21, 2018, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1818.

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