Celebrate National Marine Week at Iziko Museums

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Discovering the deep – past, present and future 

Iziko South African Museum, 6 – 11 October, 2014

Celebrate our national marine heritage at Iziko Museums of South Africa (Iziko). This year, Iziko will host a week-long programme entitled, Discovering the Deep: Past, present and future at the Iziko South African Museum (ISAM).

Discovering the Deep highlights exciting discoveries and key findings that have led to present research efforts and methodology. These include exciting, new high-definition footage of Coelacanths off Sodwana Bay, provided by Dr Kerry Sink, Marine Programmes Director at the South African National Biodiversity Institute. A new underwater wreck exhibit showcasing the potential joint research that these disciplines could engage in will also be on display. Other exciting activities include a two-day public lecture series featuring professional maritime archeologists and marine biologists presenting their research, a live marine touch tank and a fun craft corner for kids.

National Marine Week is celebrated annually during the second week of October to create awareness of the marine and coastal environment, and to promote the sustainable use and conservation of our marine resources. Take a walk through the history of marine biology and maritime archaeology at ISAM. Discover the exploration methods employed to unlock the past, so that we can understand the present and gain potential opportunities for joint research. This would drive towards improved societal benefit.

Key to current research in both marine biology and maritime archaeology, are projects involving a number of institutes collaborating with each other to gain a more holistic perspective. One of these projects includes the SeaKeys campaign, which is funded by the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa, through the Foundational Biodiversity Information Programme launched in March 2014. This collaborative research brings together scientists, citizens and policy makers to unlock foundational biodiversity knowledge.

Iziko will also be running a Common Struggles, Hidden Heritage workshop during Marine Week, through funding provided by the National Heritage Council. This two-day workshop aims to use the theme of slave trade infrastructure in southern Africa to introduce young, up-and-coming archaeologists to the field of underwater archaeology. This special workshop will include lectures about the practical side of underwater archaeology, from surveying and recording a shipwreck, to interpreting what remains, and placing it within a wider historical context.

“With an estimated three thousand historical shipwrecks off our coast, South Africa has a vast underwater cultural heritage. This wealth of heritage, combined with our substantial marine biodiversity, means that South Africa has not only some of the most scientifically and historically interesting waters off our coasts but also the most beautiful. By applying the expertise of both biologists and archaeologists to sites we can learn so much more about how the natural and cultural worlds interact and infer knowledge of their future”, says Jake Harding, one of the guest speakers presenting his research at ISAM during Marine Week.

For further information, contact Candice Untiedt at Iziko Museums. Mobile no: 084 624 3655; email: cuntiedt@iziko.org.za

Issued by: Lee-Shay Collison

Media Liaison Officer: Institutional Advancement, Iziko Museums of South Africa

Telephone: +27 (0) 21 481 3861                  Facsimile: +27 (0) 21 461 9620

Cell: 073 585 9843                                                             E-mail: lcollison@iziko.org.za

Website http://www.iziko.org.za                            


On behalf of: Office of the CEO, Iziko Museums of South Africa