Under the patronage of its Chairperson HE Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar Museums (QM), the organisation responsible for developing, promoting and sustaining Qatar’s cultural sector, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Marine Science Cluster at Qatar University’s Environmental Science Center (QU-ESC).

The agreement was signed by Mansoor Al Mahmoud, Special Advisor to the Chairperson and Acting CEO of QM, and QU president Dr Hassan Rashid Al Derham.

In the terms of the agreement, both organisations will collaborate on the study of Qatar’s marine features and underwater archaeology, the first of its kind in the Gulf region.

The research aims to make new discoveries that will help shed light on the history of marine trade in the region.

The agreement will also serve in developing a research database from findings recorded by Janan, QU’s state-of-the-art marine research vessel, as well as further strengthen the relationship between QM and QU. It will also extend to other areas of cooperation, including, but not limited to, lectures, special training and supervision of academic studies.

Throughout the partnership, both parties will co-ordinate bespoke training programmes and participate in joint workshops, to drive the collaboration, in accordance with best practice and international research and training standards.

The joint study will explore the benefits of marine science and marine archaeology in Qatar. A study will also be conducted on the geophysical and bathymetric data of Qatar’s waters. Throughout the process, both organisations will be able to identify and analyse the artefacts and eco facts recovered from the project.  In addition, the project will introduce a new study about the sea level change and the relation with the settlements during the prehistory period in Gulf region.

Underwater Archaeology

Marine sites will be evaluated and ensuing reports will detail the underwater archaeological findings from each site, as well as the benefits of each. Qatar Museums will be responsible for monitoring and protecting any marine archaeological features and artefacts, discovered during this research process.

Qatar Museums’ Chief Archaeology Officer, Ali Al Kubaisi, said:

We are very pleased to sign this MoU with QU today and look forward to the great findings that will be presented as a result of this partnership. We are also proud that this partnership will bring QM closer to its goal of honouring the traditions of the past, while embracing the future. We hope that current and future generations of students at QU will be proud of their contributions to discovering Qatar’s underwater archaeology.’

Dr Al Derham said:

QU is pleased to partner with Qatar Museums on this project the findings from which will be of special importance to Qatar and its people in terms of historical, cultural and traditional value.  It is also an opportunity to showcase the wide-ranging marine research capacity of the ESC in general and Janan in particular.  Further, it cannot be understated the benefit of this project to the students and researchers in our marine science programme.’