Underwater archaeology in Thailand

Warang Petch writes in this feature for the Museum of Underwater Archaeology about students learning techniques to conduct archaeology underwater in Thailand.

Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Underwater Archaeology Training Project Hin Bush Shipwreck Site, Rayong, Thailand
Museum of Underwater Archaeology

Every summer break, students who are interested in diving and would like to discover new valuable knowledge of maritime archaeology gather attentively together to set up a project to learn diving with skillful archaeologists and aquanauts who work at the Underwater Archaeology Division, Fine Arts Department, Chantaburi province, Thailand. Knowing how to be a good diver only is not enough to facilitate working under water practically; a group of students then gathers again to find a way to explore real maritime fieldwork. Instead of a course that gives credits, their endeavors appear in the form of students’ activity projects during the semester break.

A number of Southeast Asian countries have an underwater archaeology department in some agency or university now. Thailand definitely has one, and so does the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam. This bodes well for the field, because I’m sure for such a busy maritime route, there’s a lot of shipwrecks to be found in the Malacca Strait and the South China Sea.

Related Books:
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells
Maritime Southeast Asia to 1500 (Sources and Studies in World History)

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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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