The Maldives Heritage Survey aims to systematically inventory and document endangered tangible cultural heritage in the Maldives – including mosques, Muslim grave markers, the remains of Buddhist stupas, and other historical structures and physical objects – through digital photography, 3D terrestrial scanning, and GIS to create an open-access online heritage database.
The materials documented through this work are critically endangered, facing both natural and human threats that jeopardize the survival and accessibility of historical information for this vital node in pre-modern global economic and religious networks. This work is thus crucial for the people of the Maldives in interpreting their own past, and for global scholarship on the history and material culture of this little-studied archipelago at the cross-roads of an interconnected Indian Ocean world.
The project, based at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, is led by Dr Michael Feener and funded by Arcadia. Work in the country will be done in partnership with the Maldives Department of Heritage with additional support from the Earth Observatory of Singapore. The initial field survey is planned over a two-year period beginning in April 2018, during which time the online database will be launched. Watch this page for forthcoming updates.