Martijn Manders Lecture

Thursday, 27 October 2022
Social Sciences Lecture Theatre, The University of Western Australia
General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni

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Martijn Manders

Going East: Dutch archaeological research on shipwrecks of the East India Company (VOC)


Archaeology Seminar Series, UWA | Institute for Advanced Studies | Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands

Speaker: Professor Martijn Manders (Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands & Leiden University) .

The Dutch East India Company, or VOC, was the largest private company and multinational in the world. It existed from 1602 to 1795. In that period a few thousand ship movements have been registered from the Netherlands to the East Indies and back. The interasiatic trade between the different trading posts of the VOC has even been more intensive. During these thousands of movements a few hundred ships never made their destination, they form now an enormously rich resource for us to learn about this past which is not only a reflection of heroism and adventure, but also enlightens darker parts of our history. Through archaeological research the stories about the past come alive, they teach us about where we come from, who we are now and they connect the Dutch people with other parts of the world, like Australia. In this talk I will focus on a few archaeological sites that I have researched – outside of Australia - to highlight some of the history of the VOC, which is a global history after all.

Professor Dr. M.R. (Martijn) Manders is maritime archaeologist for the Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands (RCE - Ministry of Education, Culture and Science) and professor in Underwater Archaeology and Maritime Cultural Heritage Management at the University of Leiden. Manders’ (52) experience in maritime archaeology spans over thirty years. He is a leading expert in dissemination of national and international research, protection and management of the underwater cultural heritage. At the RCE he coordinates the international maritime heritage portfolio, which includes the management of Dutch shipwrecks overseas. He often operates there where science and policy meet and he regularly advises other governments and large institutes on the subject. Manders is a board member of the International Committee on Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICOMOS-ICUCH). Examples of research he has been involved with: the excavation of the VOC ship Rooswijk in the UK, the disappearance of the Dutch WWII wrecks in the Java Sea, the Dutch submarines in Malaysia, the wreck of the Hoorn of the Southern Company in Argentina and the ARC Linkage project Roaring 40s in Australia. For UNESCO, Manders coordinates the Foundation Courses for underwater cultural heritage management in different parts of the world. Committed to public outreach and exposure for his field, he shares his knowledge and experience with a wide international audience by giving lectures and media appearances, among others for (Dutch) television and radio, talkshows and documentaries (National Geographic, Discovery Channel).