Pre-Islamic Statues Discovered

Just over a month ago, two small pre-Islamic statues were discovered in the course of construction work expanding the Hudhaa Mosque in Kalaidhoo, Laamu Atoll (Hahdhunmathee). The MHS Field Team was able to access these objects near the site at which they had been found, where they were systematically measured and photographed.
Following field documentation of these artefacts they were carefully packaged to prevent any further damage, and arrangements have now been made through the Maldives Department of Heritage to secure the objects for preservation.  

Laamu Atoll – First Phase

The MHS Field Team has completed its initial survey of Isdhoo-Kalaidhoo island in Laamu Atoll (Hahdhunmathee), where we have documented the Isdhoo Aasaaree Miskiiy mosque and cemetery site.
A large Buddhist ritual complex comprising of the ruins of 50 structures and surrounding walls in the vicinity of two large mounds, and a number of other smaller sites including a (now submerged) bathing tank and the ruins of a deserted mosque site and cemetery have also been recorded.

 

Fieldwork Begins!

Fieldwork has commenced in Isdhoo, Laamu Atoll where the team will be working on a number of sites, including the Isdhoo Asaaree coral stone mosque complex, the area around the Isdhoo Bodu Haiytheli mound, and a number of other, previously undocumented sites on the island. Our field survey of some of the overgrown areas around the mound in particular has already revealed elements indicating that it was situated within a much larger complex associated with that well-known monument than had been noted by earlier observers. Our current work is on trying to more clearly establish the broader contours of the site, and to document the ruins of several dozen structures that we have discovered there.

 

MHS Project Launch

 

On the 10th of April 2018, an MoU between the Minister of Education, Dr Aishath Shiham and Professor Michael Feener of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies was ceremonially signed at the National Museum of the Maldives in Malé. The ceremony was attended by dignitaries from the Ministry of Education, the Maldives Department of Heritage, Maldives National Defense Forces, the Maldives Academy for Linguistic Studies, the Maldives Ministry of Islamic Affairs and, a crowd of others, including local historians and researchers. The work of the MHS team will commence on 15th April in Laamu Atoll, and shall continue its ‘journey’ throughout Maldives with a plan of covering six of the country’s atolls over the coming two years. More news and updates will be shared here as their work progresses.