Maldives Heritage Survey commences in Addu City

Maldives Heritage Survey (MHS) has begun an initial survey of Addu City.

MHS began work in Addu City, following a meeting with the mayor and members of the City Council. The survey in Addu started at Koagannu in Meedhoo, the largest historic cemetery in Maldives with hundreds of ornamented and inscribed coral gravestones and multiple structures including small mosques and shrines.

Ministry of Arts, Culture and Heritage revealed information of all cultural and ancient sites of Addu City will be collected as part of the survey. The survey team will stay in the city for about four months, according to the heritage ministry.

MHS aims to systematically conduct inventory and document endangered tangible cultural heritage sites in Maldives, including mosques, Muslim grave markers, and other historical structures and physical objects through digital photography, 3D terrestrial scanning and geographic information system to create an open access online heritage database.

The materials documented under the survey are critically endangered, facing both natural and human threats that jeopardise the survival and accessibility of historical information for the vital node in pre-modern global economic and religious networks.

The project conducted at Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is funded by Arcadia Fund and led by Dr. Michael Feener. The components of the project in Maldives will be conducted in partnership with Maldives Department of Heritage with additional support from the Earth Observatory of Singapore.

The project is crucial for the people of Maldives in interpreting its own past, and for global scholarship on the history and material culture of the little-studied archipelago at the cross-roads of an interconnected Indian Ocean world, according to Dr. Michael Feener.