Archeomar Programme

In May 2001, the MMCS launched the "Archeomar" programme to attain its goal in the preservation of underwater heritage sites. This programme aims at developing underwater archaeological research in Mauritius.

The main objective is to help museum institutions give value to our archaeological heritage.

In this way, the MMCS provides its support and experience to the National History Museum of Mahebourg and helps in enriching the National collections.

Since 2002, various projects have been undertaken, such as:

  • The discovery of the illegal slave trade lugger shipwreck Coureur in 2004 and its excavation in the years 2005, 2006 and 2008 (see article).
  • The continuation of the archaeological research on the British shipwrecks HMS Sirius and HMS Magicienne. A new campaign was held from 2003 to 2005 which has allowed the retrieval of a large quantity of information which is still being analysed. However, since then, the research conducted under the Sirius programme has had to be stopped temporarily due to the discovery of the Coureur shipwreck. The archaeological study of the Sirius and Magicienne will be done as a part of the commemoration of the bicentenary of the Grand Port Naval Battle in 2010. 
  • The discovery and preliminary archaeological investigation of the French fluyt or flute Diligente shipwreck in 2006. 
  • Organising various temporary exhibitions in collaboration with the Mauritius Museums Council such as :
    • The archaeological campaign of the HMS Sirius shipwreck
    • The sunken past of the Grand Port Naval Battle
    • TheCoureur, witness of the illegal slaves trade
  • Several projects are planned in the context of the Archeomar programme, namely:
    • the conversion of the Sirius shipwreck into an underwater museum
    • the creation of an inventory on the underwater heritage of both Mauritius and Rodrigues
    • the publication of catalogues of the Mauritius Museums Councils shipwreck Collection