UNESCO World Heritage Sites under Water: Archaeological Places of Outstanding Universal Value.

Hafner, Albert (2020). UNESCO World Heritage Sites under Water: Archaeological Places of Outstanding Universal Value. In: Hafner, Albert; Öniz, Hakan; Semaan, Lucy; Underwood, Christopher J. (eds.) Heritage Under Water at Risk: Challenges, Threats and Solutions (pp. 26-30). Paris: International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)

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The protection of cultural heritage under water has only recently become a matter of public interest. Cultural properties on land such as historical buildings and archaeological sites were already the subject of discussion in the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907. An institutional interest in protecting archaeological sites that are submerged in the seas and inland waters was first expressed in the 1996 ICOMOS (Sofia) Charter on the Protection and Management of Underwater Cultural Heritage and the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001 UNESCO Convention). The 2001 UNESCO Convention entered into force in 2009. It is beyond question that the implementation of the Convention and the further ratification by 66 states (2020) have led to a significantly improved awareness of the importance of the cultural heritage for achieving a global understanding of the past of human societies. At the same time, the 2001 UNESCO Convention drew attention to the fact that underwater archaeological sites are exposed to a variety of hazards. These include erosion-induced destruction of natural origin, but above all are the human impacts on the seabed and inland waters in connection with industrial and construction activities, and the destructive pillaging of shipwrecks in search of valuable objects.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences > Pre- and Early History

UniBE Contributor:

Hafner, Albert


900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS)




Albert Hafner-Lafitte

Date Deposited:

17 May 2021 09:36

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:50





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