Recent underwater discoveries and maritime archaeological projects in Egypt have revealed the country’s unique potential for maritime archaeological exploration and research. In response, the Alexandria Centre for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage has been created to introduce, for the first time, education and training in maritime and underwater archaeology into the Egyptian higher education curricula. The Centre is funded through a grant from the Trans-European mobility scheme for university studies (Tempus), as well as a number of corporations and private donors including a generous donation from Mr. Youssef Lotfy Mansour, Chairman of MMD. The monetary contribution was allocated towards the physical building of the Center which was inaugurated in October 2008.
The centre occupies the ground floor of the northern building of the Faculty of Arts. It consists of two lecture rooms equipped with interactive smart boards, a specialized library, a computer laboratory equipped with twenty PCs, a conservation training laboratory in addiction to a storage space where the diving, photography and excavation equipment are kept. The centre also owns a 6m Rigid Inflatable Boat which would be used for training and research. It also has a waterfront facility overlooking the Eastern Harbour of Alexandria where practical sessions will take place. It is the only center for maritime archaeology in the Middle East.
The Centre offers a postgraduate Diploma and Master of Arts degrees in Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage, designed and structured in accordance with European Union standards. The programme aims to provide graduates from different backgrounds with a sound theoretical and methodological foundation in the investigation, interpretation and management of the maritime and underwater archaeological resource within its wider context.