EASME/EMFF/2017/ – Sustainable Blue Economy

Co-funded by the EMFF programme of the European Union

The Israel Antiquities Authority is in charge of the country’s antiquities and antiquity sites, their excavation, preservation, conservation, study and publication thereof, as well as the country’s antiquity treasures. The Antiquities Authority is appointed by the Law of Antiquities (1978) to issue excavation licenses to qualified, experienced archaeologists, working on behalf of a recognized academic archaeological institute that assumes scientific, administrative and financial responsibility for the excavation. Excavations in Israel are initiated for the purpose of research by both foreign and Israeli institutions, including the IAA. In addition, salvage excavations are legally required before commencing infrastructure development, road construction, or rescuing sites that have already been damaged. The IAA has a policing unit, equipped with sophisticated electronic surveillance equipment that functions countrywide, round the clock to prevent antiquities robbery.


The Marine Archaeology Unit of the IAA is charged with the protection and research of Israel’s underwater antiquities; its activities include: country-wide inspection and enforcement of the Antiquities laws at sea; underwater rescue surveys and excavations; Mapping underwater archaeological sites; declaring antiquity sites; participation in state-wide development programs of Israel’s coast and territorial waters; formulation of policy for managing underwater antiquities; surveying and excavation of areas intended for coastal development; supervision of construction projects to prevent damage to antiquities; research and publication of antiquities found during surveys; educational activities aimed at raising public awareness (lectures, symposiums, museum exhibitions, educational posters, documentary films) and collaboration with universities and research teams from Israel and abroad, including development of technologies for documenting underwater sites and antiquities.

Contact person :

Jacob Sharvit   (Koby [at] israntique.org.il)

Director of the Underwater Archaeology Unit I.A.A