Prof Emad Khalil recipient of an HFF award to publish the first ever handbook of maritime archaeology written in Arabic has recently completed and published the volume. This volume will no doubt be an invaluable text book for Arabic speaking students of maritime archaeology for years to come. The book is designed not only for students of archaeology and related subjects, but also for the general reader. It is an essential educational tool as well as a principal means for developing public awareness of the issues and practices of the field.
In 1965 Dr. Selim Morcos, an Egyptian former UNESCO staff member published the first book in Arabic on submerged cultural heritage named حضارات غارقة “Submerged Civilizations”. The book presented some of the important underwater archaeological discoveries that were made in the beginning of the 20th century, such the discovery of the Cape Galidonya shipwreck in Turkey, the ancient harbour of Pharos in Egypt and the submerged remains of Port Royal in Jamaica. It also shed light on the significance of the new field of underwater archaeology and encouraged Egyptian archaeologists in particular to get involved in it. However, since then, publication in Arabic on underwater cultural heritage has been very limited, which had an evident negative impact on the development of underwater archaeology in the Arab region at large. Nevertheless, during the past two decades, several maritime and underwater archaeological projects were carried out in a number of Arab states such as Egypt, Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait and Oman, which demonstrated the need for Arabic literature in that discipline.
Hence, in an attempt to fill a gap in Arabic literature in that field of Maritime Arcaeology, Dr. Emad Khalil, professor of Maritime Archaeology at Alexandria University and former president of the ICOMOS International Committee on the Underwater Cultural Heritage published a book titled: الآثار البحرية والتراث الثقافي الغارق “Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage”. The book was published with the support of the Honor Frost Foundation and the EU-TEMPUS program.
The book aims to introduce Arabic readers to the different aspects of exploring, preserving and presenting maritime and underwater archaeological resources. The book addresses both specialists and the general readers interested in underwater archaeology. Hence, it broadly covers a number of key issues related to the theoretical and practical foundations of maritime archaeology. This will certainly be a big contribution to the ratification and proper implementation of the UNESCO 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the region.