Dr Arturo Rey da Silva

Honor Frost Scholar in Marine Cultural Heritage; Heritage Studies; Maritime Archaeology


Dr Arturo Rey da Silva is a maritime archaeologist and heritage researcher, with large experience in the field of international cooperation, capacity-building, and heritage diplomacy. Between 2011 and 2018 he was part of the UNESCO Secretariat,  where he worked giving technical assistance to the Member States to advance research and capacities in maritime archaeology and heritage protection, as well as providing guidance for heritage policy development. Since 2018, Arturo has worked with UNESCO Headquarters and Field Offices -notably in Africa, Central Asia and Latin America-, establishing regional capacity-strengthening strategies, outreach initiatives, policy-oriented programmes, and results-based frameworks. He got his Ph.D. in January 2021 from the University of Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne, after undertaking a research fellowship at the Spanish School of History and Archaeology in Rome, with a thesis that looked into the institutionalization of underwater archaeology within international cooperation schemes, and its contribution to sustainable development.

Arturo has also large experience in teaching and establishing educative programmes. He is a visiting lecturer in Heritage at several universities (i.e. The University of Alexandria in Egypt, the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, The University of Cadiz in Spain, or the University Externado in Colombia). He is a Member of the ICOMOS International Committee for Underwater Cultural Heritage (ICUCH), ICOMOS Spanish National Commission, and UNESCO Ocean Literacy Global Expert Group. 

He is currently an Honor Frost Scholar in Marine Cultural Heritage at the School of History, Classics, and Archaeology where he analyzes the contribution of heritage research and management to the sustainability of coastal communities, notably in East Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean, through the Rising from the Depths Network (RftD) projects and the Honor Frost Foundation supported actions.

Responsibilities & affiliations

Research summary


  • Africa
  • Latin America
  • Mediterranean
  • Near East


  • Ancient Civilisations
  • Culture
  • Landscapes & Monuments
  • Material Culture
  • Politics
  • Society


  • Prehistory
  • Early Historic
  • Antiquity
  • Medieval
  • Twentieth Century & After

Research interests

My research interests range from the understanding of local communities’ traditional technical, conceptual and spiritual uses of maritime spaces to the study of heritage conceptualization within maritime groups, its institutionalization through heritage diplomacy processes, and the role played by maritime archaeology in the development of intercultural dialogue, cooperation, and sustainable development policies.

I am particularly interested in the relation between the past human interactions with the marine environment and present societies as well as in the way this can contribute to designing strategies to face current global challenges.

Further general areas of interest are:

  • Maritime Archaeology
  • Marine Cultural Heritage Preservation
  • Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Development
  • Heritage Diplomacy and Cultural Internationalism
  • Maritime Ethnography