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Underwater Archaeology

The Marine Archaeology Branch



The Marine Archaeology Unit (MAU)



The MAU of the IAA is the authorized body in charge of the underwater heritage of Israel. The MAU engages in the following activities:
* Country-wide inspection and enforcement of the Antiquities laws.
* Prevention of illegal treasure hunting of marine antiquities.
* Supervision of construction projects to prevent damage to antiquities.
* Mapping of underwater archaeological sites to form a national data base.


* Declaring underwater archaeological sites as national protected reserves.
* Participation in the preparation of state-wide master plans for development, tourism and transportation in Israel's coastal and territorial waters.
* Surveying and excavating areas intended for coastal development.
* Research and publication of antiquities which are recovered during surveys, inspection and excavations.
Initiating educational activities aimed at raising public awareness (lectures, symposiums, museum exhibitions, educational posters, documentary films etc.)


Divers excavating with a dredging system
In addition, the MAU conducts rescue excavations and surveys in Israeli seas and inland waters (the Mediterranean, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea and the Red Sea). The objectives of the surveys are to locate, document, study and publish endangered ancient artifacts and sites

Diver raising iron anchor from the sea


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