IKUWA - Internationaler Kongreß für Unterwasserarchäologie - is a global network of cooperating bodies that organises congresses focused on underwater archaeology to raise awareness of the importance of underwater cultural heritage and to create an international regulatory framework for its protection.

The congresses are organised under the patronage of UNESCO and the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage.


Members of the IKUWA Steering Committee

Dr Hanz Guenter Martin  Chair Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Unterwasserarchäologie e.V.
Prof David Blackman  Vice-Chair University of Oxford and Vice President of the Nautical Archaeology Society
Dr Annalisa Zarattini  IKUWA Underwater Archaeology, Ministry of Culture
Mr Peter Winterstein  IKUWA1 Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Unterwasserarchäologie e.V.
Dr Beat Eberschweiler  IKUWA2 Swiss Society of Underwater Archaeology
Mr Mark Beattie-Edwards  IKUWA3 Nautical Archaeology Society
Dr Luka Bekić  IKUWA4 International Centre for Underwater Archaeology
Dr Hrvoje Potrebica  IKUWA4 University of Zagreb
Dr Iván Negueruela  IKUWA5 National Museum of Underwater Archaeology (ARQVA)
Dr Jennifer Rodrigues  IKUWA6 Western Australian Museum
Dr Arianna Traviglia  IKUWA6 Universita Ca' Foscari Venezia
Mr Kalle Virtanen  IKUWA7 University of Helsinki
Ms Minna Koivikko  IKUWA7 National Board of Antiquities


IKUWA7 - 2021

Due to Coronavirus epidemic IKUWA7 is now due to be held in Helsinki, Finland between the 23rd to 29th August 2021- organised by the Faculty of Arts at the University of Helsinki, the Finnish Maritime Archaeological Society and the Finnish National Board of Antiquities.

More here: https://www.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/7th-international-congress-for-underwater-archaeology



IKUWA6 - 2016

IKUWA6 was held from 25 November to 2 December 2016 at the Western Australian Maritime Museum in Fremantle, Western Australia. 

IKUWA6 Honorary Committee

The composition of the IKUWA6 Honorary Committee signified the highest governmental or institutional support for the IKUWA6 congress, and the principles that IKUWA6 represented in the protection, preservation and promotion of our global maritime cultural heritage resources.

The IKUWA6 Organising Committee would like to thank the following individuals who agreed to serve on the Honorary Committee for IKUWA6, thereby signifying their support for this important conference.

In alphabetical order, the committee included:

Mr Alec ColesChief Executive Officer, Western Australian Museum / Host of IKUWA6 

His Excellency Paulo da Cunha AlvesAmbassador of Portugal to Australia 

The Honourable John Day, MLAMinister for Planning, Culture and the Arts, Western Australia 

Ms Elisa de Cabo de la VegaSecretaría de Estado de Cultura, Ministerio de Educación, Cultura y Deporte / Sponsor and Host of IKUWA5

Dr Ulrike GuérinSecretariat of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, Cultural Heritage Protection Treaties Section, UNESCO Paris 

Associate Professor Martin HadlowDeputy Chair, Australian National Commission for UNESCO 

Mr Chris JohnstonAssistant Secretary, Department of Environment 

His Excellency Christophe LecourtierAmbassador to Australia for France 

Dr Hanz Guenter Martin, Chair, International Congress on Underwater Archaeology 

Mr Arturo Rey da Silva, Secretariat of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, Cultural Heritage Protection Treaties Section, UNESCO Paris 

Her Excellency Mrs Erica SchoutenAmbassador to Australia for the Kingdom of the Netherlands 



Interested in submitting your paper? Authors need to register prior to submitting. Once registered, log in and begin the five-step process. Submissions must adhere to guidelines for authors provided via email. If you have not received this information contact the  editors at [email protected] 

Download the IKUWA 6 Instructions for Authors here


IKUWA5 - 2014

IKUWA5 was held in October 2014 in Cartagena, Spain, at the Universidad Politecnica de Cartagena. The event was organised and hosted by the National Museum of Underwater Archaeology. The theme of IKUWA 5 was "Heritage for Humanity". The publication of the proceedings of IKUWA 5 was released in December 2016 and can be downloaded here.


IKUWA4 - 2011

IKUWA4 was held in October 2011 in Zadar, Croatia, where the International Centre for Underwater Archaeology has been established under UNESCO's auspices. The theme of IKUWA4 was "Managing the underwater cultural heritage".


IKUWA3 - 2008

IKUWA3 was held in London in 2008. The Congress saw the Nautical Archaeology Society in conjunction with project partners, the Institute of Field Archaeologists, and the Institute of Archaeology, University College London, playing host to the largest conference on underwater archaeology ever held in Britain. 

The congress was preceded by a three day professional development field school organised by the NAS, and followed by optional excursions.

Project partners included UNESCO, the British Academy, Historic Scotland, and English Heritage.

The IKUWA3 field school focused on the debate in UK archaeology on what, how and why archaeologists record the remains of boats and ships. It aimed to demonstrate through practical sessions the range of new recording methodologies available to maritime archaeologists. Although reference was made to a variety of boat and ship remains including the Newport Ship and the SS Great Britain, the field school focused on the remains of the Princes Channel Wreck or Gresham Ship, a Tudor ship dating to around 1574 that was discovered in the River Thames in 2003.


IKUWA2 - 2004

IKUWA2 was held in Zurich in October 2004. The organising committee included German and British members. About 200 participants from 25 countries attended. The proceedings were published in 2006 as Volume 40 of the monographic series "Antiqua" titled: "Die Neue Sicht. Une nouvelle lnterprétation de I'histoire." 

It was IKUWA 2's goal to demonstrate where and how the historical image has been changed through underwater archaeology investigations during the past decades, and which future investigations can be regarded as promising. 

In the days preceding the congress a postgraduate training workshop was held, with 21 participants from 11 European countries. All of which contributed to the strategic goal which is the creation of a long-term network of all European bodies which deal with underwater archaeology.


IKUWA1 - 1999

IKUWA1 - the first International Congress for Underwater Archaeology - was held in February 1999 in Sassnitz, Germany, with the theme "protection of cultural heritage under water". 

It received considerable support from the Raphael Programme of the European Union, in the context of reinforcing east-west cultural and educational ties, and was organised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Unterwasserarchäoloqie (DEGUWA) and seven German and five non-German (Switzerland, UK, Greece, Netherlands and Poland) partner organisations.