The Maritime Asia Heritage Survey (MAHS) works to digitally document historical and archaeological sites across the coastal and island world of Southern Asia through field survey work in the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Vietnam.  

The seasonal monsoon cycles of this region have for centuries facilitated the circulation of people, materials and ideas across this vast seascape and created a complex mosaic of diverse local cultures. Today, many of the important sites, monuments and objects associated with the rich history of the region are increasingly under threat: exposed to environmental stress from cyclones, tsunami, coastal erosion, land subsidence and rising sea-levels; rapid and unplanned development and construction; and in some instances deliberate acts of vandalism.

To document this endangered heritage, the MAHS field teams uses digital technologies including GIS, RTK mapping, aerial and terrestrial LiDAR, digital photography, 3D modelling, video, CAD and IIIF standard manuscript digitizations to produce robust records in on online archive for the benefit of historians, local communities, governments, and heritage management professionals. The project is led by R. Michael Feener at the Kyoto University Center for Southeast Asian Studies. All records and other digital heritage assets produced by and/or integrated into the MAHS are made open-access available online here and permanently archived in the library systems of Kyoto University and the University of Oxford.

The Maritime Asia Heritage Survey is funded by a grant from Arcadia, a charitable fund of Lisbet Rausing & Peter Baldwin.

For the project overview in Japanese, click on the link below.

View our 3D models on Sketchfab

Interactive 3D visualizations of coral stone mosques, Buddhist temples, statuary, and other heritage sites and objects from the Maldives and Indonesia are available on the MAHS Sketchfab page. Click the arrow below to link to those collections of digital heritage assets.

3D Collections

Manuscript viewer

The MAHS Manuscript Viewer is a web interface providing access to Deep Zoom images of texts on paper and engraved on copper plates related to the history of the Maldives. The materials presented here include manuscripts digitized by our Survey Team in the field, as well as a selection of texts from the collections of the Maldives National Museum in Malé, as well as scans generously provided with permission by the Maldives National Archives.

Oral histories

Archive of oral history interview videos recorded in the course of
MAHS field survey work, presents a range of local perspectives
on the meanings of historical and archaeological sites by
members of contemporary local communities.

MAHS Survey Accomplishments

1592 Sites
7299 Structures
8895 Objects
24 3D Models
87 LiDAR Point Clouds
220 Digitized Manuscripts
40 Oral History Interviews
5 Collections

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Join our MAHS Team

The MAHS is now recruiting for a full-time Heritage Survey Manager to work with an international team to curate records and other digital heritage assets for our online, open-access heritage archive. We seek candidates with experience working on heritage surveys and archaeological sites in Asia.

We will close the recruitment when the position is filled. The initial contract will be for one year, with the possibility of an extension of up to three years.

For more details on the position, please click below.

Join our MAHS Team

The MAHS Maldives is now recruiting a photographer for the project. Successful candidates will be required to travel extensively with the Team to a number of different atolls in the Maldives for up to ten months each year.

The application deadline is May 30, 2022. For more information on the position please see:

Join our MAHS Team

The MAHS is now recruiting a Digital Heritage Assistant for the project. Successful candidates will be based in Kyoto, Japan.

The application deadline is May 30, 2022. For more information on this position please visit our website.

The MAHS has completed digital documentation of the Masjid Wapauwe. Built in a traditional style with wooden pillars and a thatched roof, it is one of the oldest mosques in Indonesia and houses a collection of manuscripts and artefacts.

In Indonesia, The Maritime Asia Heritage Survey (MAHS) is work in partnership with Direktorat Jenderal Kebudayaan, Kementerian Pendidikan dan Kebudayaan Republik Indonesia. The work of the MAHS Indonesia Team in Maluku has been carried out collaboratively with @bpnbmaluku and @disdikbud_maluku

For open-access to our complete dataset of archaeological sites and historical artifacts from the Maldives, Indonesia, and other countries of the region, please visit us at:

#indonesiaheritage #maritimehistory #heritage #maluku #jalurrempah #kucseas #indianocean #indonesia #budayasaya #southeastasiaheritage #islamicart