The race to salvage Vietnam’s underwater heritage

Source: Vietnam Net 20140331

A spotlight again on Vietnam’s underwater archaeology – there seems to be a fear of China’s growing ambition to claim underwater relics against the lack of resources and expertise in underwater archaeology in Vietnam.

Source: Vietnam Net 20140331
Source: Vietnam Net 20140331

Can Vietnam carry out archaeology activities in East Sea?
Vietnam Net, 31 March 2014

Do Thai Binh, a shipbuilding engineer from the HCM City Marine Science & Technology Association, expressed his concern over the Chinese announcement on conducting underwater archaeology activities in the territorial waters around the Hoang Sa archipelago.

Binh said that it is now the right for Vietnam to pay more attention to the underwater archaeology.
Only in 2009, did the Vietnam Archaeology Institute conduct the first research activities, which laid the foundation for the Vietnam’s underwater archaeology.

However, four years later, in 2013, Dr. Tong Trung Tin, Head of the institute still said that Vietnam had nothing for its underwater archaeology – no workforce, no money and no technical facilities.

It is clear that Vietnam has not paid appropriate attention to the underwater archaeology, though, as Tin said, this is a new but potential and very attractive field.

Full story here.

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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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