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, Brunei, 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.

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

Latest from social media

The MAHS Team joined colleagues from MAPESA, BPCB, Dinas Pariwisata, members of the Indonesian military and police forces and the local community at Neusu to clean up and reset a number of old Islamic gravestones at an abandoned but historically important cemetery.

#indianocean #maritimehistory #heritage #indonesiaheritage #aceh #jalurrempahkemendikbud #kucseas

Kudafaru Fasgandu, Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Maldives

This sandbar emerged from the sea as the nearby island was submerged over recent years…

In the course of our survey work, the MAHS also uses drones to produce orthophotomaps of uninhabited islands that can be used as baseline measurements to monitor changes in coastlines due the effects of climate change and other environmental factors.

#indianocean #maritimehistory #heritage #maldives #maldivesislands #heritagesurvey #kucseas #haadhaaluatoll

Coral gravestones from an old cemetery on Makunundhoo (Haa Dhaalu Atoll)

#indianocean #maritimehistory #heritage #maldives #maldivesislands #heritagesurvey #makunudhoo #kucseas

MAHS Indonesia team is documenting a heritage site, Makam Meurah II in Aceh Besar, Aceh.

#indianocean #maritimehistory #heritage #indonesiaheritage #aceh #jalurrempah #cseas #kucseas