Marine Cultural Heritage in Northern Mozambique
Northern Mozambique formed part of the Indian Ocean trade network from the 7th century, which gave rise to a vibrant maritime culture of settlement, travel and exchange. The most well-known site is Mozambique Island (Ilha de Mozambique), a major port of significance for East African maritime trade from the 14th century. Its architectural diversity has been recognised by UNESCO World Heritage Site designation in 1991. The recognition given to Mozambique Island has not, however been extended to Maritime Cultural Heritage (MCH), which has in the past been subject to the activities of treasure-hunters.
This project will argue for the value and scope of marine heritage and recognition of its contribution to a healthy environment, community well-being and resilience, and economic sustainability. Key areas of work include an underwater survey of the changing natural environment as a context for cultural heritage in an era of climate change. The project will also provide training on new means to engage the community with MCH, survey techniques and work with schools on recording and celebrating maritime folklore. The project involves an interdisciplinary team working in partnership with maritime archaeologists (CAIRIM) as well as local community groups.