Maritime Renaissance 2020

Hosting Institution

Maritime Renaissance 2020


ICUA Zadar

The International Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Zadar (ICUA Zadar) in partnership with the Department of Archaeology of the University of Zadar is organizing the international conference ‘’Maritime Renaissance – Adriatic Trade Routes in Late Medieval and Post Medieval Period’’.

The Centre was established in 2007 as an independent organizational unit of the Croatian Conservation Institute. In 2009 ICUA Zadar became a separate legal entity and gained the status of the UNESCO category 2 centre pursuant to an international agreement signed between the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization and the Government of the Republic of Croatia the Centre. In 2016 the Centre renewed the designation as category 2 centre under the auspices of UNESCO for a period of six years.

The main purpose of ICUA Zadar is to carry out educational activities in the field of exploration, conservation and restoration of the underwater cultural heritage. The Centre is active in promoting the ratification and implementation of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the protection of the underwater cultural heritage by developing and sharing good practices and supporting capacity-building, training and exchanging of knowledge on the regional level (with special focus on South-East European countries and the wider Mediterranean region).

The Centre conducts trainings for archaeologists and conservation specialists, nationally and internationally, practically and theoretically and delivers underwater sciences field school and diving courses. It is tasked with the mission of developing international collaboration related to scientific research with UNESCO member countries and other countries concluding and implementing bilateral agreements, to stage international scientific conferences, symposia, workshops and other meetings.

The Government of the Republic of Croatia (Ministry of Culture) provides the necessary funds for the running costs of the Centre while the funds for accomplishing particular programmes are raised through different sources, including international cooperation.

Since 2018 ICUA Zadar is an associate member of the UNITWIN Network for Underwater Archaeology Cooperation Programme created in the framework of UNESCO Chairs Programme.


The University of Zadar

Zadar has a centuries-old university tradition, the longest in Croatia: following the tradition of ecclesiastical education, first mentioned in the 10th century, a Dominican higher education institution Studium generale, later known as the Universitas Iadertina, was founded as early as 14 June 1396. The town of Zadar was not chosen as a university centre by chance: at the time, it flourished as the most important naval point in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, where the seats of governmental institutions were situated, including the seat of the Austro-Hungarian Ban and the Hungarian-Croatian War Navy. From 1396 to 1553 (with the interruption from 1481 to 1495 due to the Ottoman invasion) Zadar’s Studium generale was the first university consisting of two faculties, the lower and higher level studies of Philosophy and Theology.

The modern development of higher education in Zadar started in 1955 with passing of the Act on Founding the University of Zagreb’s Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar. The lectures at the newly founded Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar, a division of the University of Zagreb, started in 1956. In 1974, the Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar was affiliated to the University of Split. In 1961, the Pedagogical Academy was also founded (in 1979 it was incorporated into the Faculty of Philosophy), and in 1988 the Teacher Training College was separated from the Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar. The Teacher Training College, together with the faculty of Philosophy, made the basis of the University of Zadar that the Croatian Parliament founded in 2002, or more precisely renewed regarding its 14th century higher education tradition.  In 2003, when the formal work of the University of Zadar commenced, 607 years of continuous higher education had passed since the time of the founders:  Raimun de Vineis from Capua, the Master of the Dominican Order, and Reverend John of Dyrrachium, the Rector.

In 2002, 46 years after the beginning of its work in 1956, the Faculty of Philosophy in Zadar comprised 16 divisions and 17 different study groups, 6 postgraduate studies, part-time and complementary study programmes with  3400 students, 240 employees, out of which 180 teaching staff and associates (including 60 external associates and foreign lecturers). Today, the University of Zadar is the largest integrated University in the Republic of Croatia, which includes 25 university departments. The University of Zadar cooperates with numerous Croatian and foreign institutions and academic associations, through membership in international organisations and communities, and through cooperative contracts with other universities.


Department of Archaeology

Today’s Department of Archaeology of the University of Zadar is one of its oldest departments. The study of archaeology was initiated in 1956. The founding of the study, then of the Department was driven by a long tradition of archaeological research, the richness and diversity of archaeological sites in the wider area of Zadar and northern Dalmatia, and the need for their comprehensive exploration and evaluation. In addition to teaching, as one of the leading scientific institutions in the field of archaeology in the Republic of Croatia, the Department has a developed research activity that intensively and continuously conducts through the planning, organization and conduct of scientific research in all branches of archaeology.

The Department of Archaeology, study programmes include European archaeology (prehistoric, ancient, medieval, modern), archaeological methodology, museology, and heritage protection. The Department supports a graduate study program that includes maritime and underwater archaeological themes.