Utheemu Palace Artefacts

The Maldives Heritage Survey Team has been working on HA. Utheemu to create new digital site documentation of the Kandhuvalu Miskiiy, and the Utheemu Palace.

In addition to 3D scans and architectural drawings of these structures on site, the Team is also cataloguing smaller items in the collections of the Utheemu Palace, including manuscripts in both Dhivehi and Arabic.

Beyond textual materials, our documentation also includes royal heirlooms in wood, metal and lacquer work. Complete data base records and photo sets of these objects will soon be made available on the MHS website.

Survey started in Haa Dhaal

Concurrent with the completion of work in Haa Alif, the Maldives Heritage Survey will soon begin work in Haa Dhaal Atoll (South Tiladhumathee). After formerly presenting the project to the Atoll Council in Kulhudhuffushi, our field survey work commenced on Vaikaradhoo, where we were also welcomed warmly by the Island Council.

Building upon previous research and guidance by members of the local community, the MHS Field Team has begun exploring the island to establish a list of sites for systematic documentation.

These include the remains of structures from a broad span of Maldivian history stretching from the pre-Islamic period to the early twentieth century.


Maldives artefacts in Oxford

Together with MHS Cataloguer Jessica Rahardjo, Michael Feener has been working to catalogue and photograph a large collection of ceramics in the collections of the Ashmolean Museum at the University of Oxford.

This includes over 700 pieces that were collected in Malé by Professor John Carswell during a visit to the Maldives in 1974. While most of the pieces collected by Carswell are Chinese ceramics, there are also some examples of Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian wares in the collection

Since these pieces were donated to the Museum they have been kept in offsite storage for several decades, and thus unavailable for public viewing. The Maldives Heritage Survey team is now processing the data we have recorded in working with all of these these materials, and full records and photograph sets for each piece will soon be made open-access available via our online database


Lecture at the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah in Kuwait

Maldives Heritage Survey Leader Michael Feener delivered a public lecture in Kuwait on 2 December, 2019 featuring material documented in the course of our work. The talk, titled, “A Maritime Muslim World: Art and Architecture of the Indian Ocean” situated the Islamicate traditions of the Maldives within broader contexts of Islamization and venacularization across the history of the region:

The lecture was sponsored by the Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah as part of the 2019 Cultural Season Series, and hosted at the Yarmouk Cultural Center. A video recording of the full presentation is available on this link.

Ihavadippolhu Survey Completed

The MHS Field Team has just completed its comprehensive survey of the Ihavadippolhu islands in Haa Alif Atoll. Across these twenty-one islands, we have documented sites including mosques, ziyaarat, cemeteries and archaeological remains, and we  have also digitised several manuscripts in Arabic and Dhivehi.

All of our documentation will be made available through our website and database soon, so please watch this space for more database records, photos, and 3D models.

Fieldwork begins in Haa Alif

The MHS Field Team arrived in Hoarafushi on 16 October, 2019 as their first base of operations in Haa Alif Atoll. After meetings with the Atoll and Island Councils, work began in Hoarafushi on the old mosque complex there (Kuda Miskiyy), and will continue around the surrounding islands over the coming months.