40 wrecks with antiques

30 April 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) – A Q&A (ok, more like 4Qs and 4As) with the director of the Vietnam Museum of History about the proposed underwater archaeology centre.

Vietnam Net Bridge, 30 Apr 2007

40 wrecks with antiques

Why do you think of an aquatic archaeology centre?

Five ancient boats have been excavated in Vietnam, information released in newspapers, data of international agencies and the written history has shown the role and position of Vietnam’s sea on the silk and pottery road many centuries ago.

It proves the exchanges between Eastern and Western civilisations and urges us to have an aquatic archaeology agency to monitor research and excavations of ancient boats under the sea of Vietnam.

In recent years, many international organisations have called for cooperation to excavate ancient boats. We have more than 3,000km of coast so sea assets would be very valuable. Scholar Le Quy Don mentioned in his book that the people in O Cap (Vung Tau) lived by hunting items in the sea.

Where should the centre be built?

We can learn from the models of many countries like Thailand, the Philippines, China or the UK. Those centres are often located at favourable sites, which are not far from sea.

In Vietnam, I think we should base the centre in Vung Tau city. Along with the centre, we can build an underwater heritages or maritime museum, which will surely attract visitors.


Related Books:
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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