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African Institute for Marine and Underwater Research, Exploration and Education


Ex-State President and Nobel Prize laureate F.W. de Klerk receiving a copy of a book on the shipwrecks of the Oosterlandand Waddinxveen. One of Mr. de Klerk’s ancestors arrived in South Africa on board the Oosterland in 1688.

The underwater excavation of this ship was undertaken under the leadership of AIMURE’s CEO, Dr. Bruno Werz (l.)

AIMURE’s CEO during a recent interview with CNN’s ‘Inside Africa’. Bruno Werz was in charge of an international team that excavated the remains of the Portuguese ship Bom Jesus (1533) in Oranjemund, Namibia. This is the oldest discovered shipwreck in sub-Saharan Africa to date.


Maritime Archaeology in Africa.

  • B.E.J.S. Werz, ‘A suggested blueprint for the development of maritime archaeological research in Namibia’ in: Journal of Namibian Studies 2.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, 'Cape of Storms or Cape of Good Hope? The development of maritime archaeological research in South Africa and prospects for the future' in: C.A. Brebbia & T. Gambin (eds.), Maritime Heritage. Wit Press, Southampton/Boston 2003.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, Diving up the human past. Perspectives of Maritime Archaeology, with specific reference to developments in South Africa until 1996. British Archaeological Reports (BAR) International Series 749, Oxford 1999. ISBN 0 86054 983 6
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, 'Maritime archaeology' in: J. O. Vogel (ed.), Encyclopedia of Precolonial Africa. Archaeology, History, Languages, Cultures and Environments. Altamira Press, Walnut Creek/London/New Delhi 1997.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, ‘Southern African shipwreck archaeology’ in: A. Catsambis, B. Ford & D.L. Hamilton (eds.)The Oxford Handbook of Maritime Archaeology. Oxford University Press, Oxford/New York 2011.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, 'South African shipwrecks and salvage : the need for improved management' in: The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater Exploration 22, 3.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, ‘The ‘Vlissingen’. A Dutch East India Company ship that perished along the Namibian shore in 1747’ in: H. Hendrix (ed.). Namibia and The Netherlands. 350 Years of Relations. Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Windhoek 2006.

Operation Zembe.

  • B.E.J.S. Werz & N.C. Flemming, 'Discovery in Table Bay of the oldest hand axes yet found underwater demonstrates preservation of hominid artefacts on the continental shelf' in: South African Journal of Science 97, 5.

Maritime Archaeological Project of Table Bay (MAP).

  • B.E.J.S. Werz, 'A graveyard of ships. Maritime archaeological research and management of shipwrecks near Robben Island, South Africa' in: W. Schmid, H. Beer & B. Sommer (eds.), Conference proceedings of the 1998 international congress on Islands in Archaeology, Starnberg, Germany 2001. Archäologie unter Wasser 3.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, Een bedroefd en beclaaglijck ongeval. De wrakken van de VOC-schepen Oosterland enWaddinxveen (1697) in de Tafelbaai. De Walburg Pers, Zutphen 2004. ISBN 90 5730 285 3
  • B.E.J.S. Werz & C.G.C. Martin, 'Hydrographic surveys in aid of maritime archaeological research: the example of the Table Bay Project' in:
    The Hydrographic Journal 72
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, 'Maritime archaeological project, Table Bay; aspects of the first field season' in: South African Archaeological Bulletin Goodwin Series 7.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, 'Shipwrecks of Robben Island, South Africa. An exercise in cultural resource management in the underwater environment' in: The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and Underwater Exploration 22, 3.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, 'The excavation of the ‘Oosterland’ in Table Bay: the first systematic exercise in maritime archaeology in southern Africa' in: South African Journal of Science 88, 2.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, The Shipwrecks of the ‘Oosterland’ and ‘Waddinxveen’. 1697, Table Bay. Zulu Planet Publishers, Johannesburg 2009. ISBN 9781 9201 53 090.

The Oranjemund shipwreck, Namibia.

  • B.E.J.S. Werz, ‘Ship in the Desert: the Namibian Treasure Wreck’ in: Salon. Journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London. London 2009.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, ‘Sub-Saharan oldest Shipwreck: Historical-Archaeological research of an Early Modern Era Portuguese merchantman on the Namibian coast’ in: The Mariner’s Mirror 96, 4.
  • B.E.J.S. Werz, ‘The Oranjemund shipwreck, Namibia. The excavation of sub-Saharan Africa’s oldest discovered wreck’ in: Journal of Namibian Studies 6.


  • B.E.J.S. Werz, 'Operation Zembe. The SA Navy searching for our past' in: Navy News XXII, 3, 2003. (12).

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