40 wrecks with antiques

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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

Museum curator moots underwater archaeology centre

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26 April 2007 (Thanh Nien News) – Statistically speaking, archaeology news from Vietnam represents a significant portion of archaeology news that comes out from Southeast Asia. Lots of that news is focused on finds in the mainland, so this piece is quite special in that it mentions underwater archaeology. There’s a lot of potential for discovering underwater sites along the coasts of Vietnam, particularly since it lies along the route between China and island Southeast Asia.

The big challenge, of course, is setting up the infrastructure for an underwater archaeology unit because it is a huge investment – underwater archaeology is such a specialised discipline, and it’s even rarer to find properly trained underwater archaeologists operating in this region. Hopefully the proposed centre for underwater archaeology becomes more than a pipe dream.

Underwater archeology center proposed in once arterial sea route

A museum curator has suggested that Vietnam establish a center to study aquatic relics as Vietnam’s coast could host thousands of such objects left behind by ships traveling along the Silk Road centuries ago.
Pham Quoc Quan, director of the Vietnam History Museum, said an underwater archeology center is necessary as Vietnam boasts over 3,000 km of coastline at the crossroads of oriental and occidental civilizations.

He cited a company named Seabed Exploration as saying Vietnamese seas may be home to as many as 40 ship wrecks.

He also cited Vietnamese scholar Le Quy Don who wrote in the 18th century that locals in what is now the coastal town of Vung Tau lived off hunting for treasures under the sea.

Five ancient ships discovered in recent years are proof of Vietnam’s strategic sea location centuries ago, Quan added.

Through experiences shared by Thailand, the Philippines, China and the UK, Vietnam could establish the center in Vung Tau, he said.

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

Ancient bronze cannon unearthed in Quang Ninh

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13 March 2007 (Vietnam Net Bridge) –

Vietnam Net Bridge, 13 Mar 07

Ancient bronze cannon unearthed in Quang Ninh

An ancient bronze cannon has been unearthed in the ancient Van Don trading port in northern Quang Ninh province.

The 70-kg gun, which is 88cm long, was found 30m-deep underwater. Its barrel has a diameter of 5cm.

The gun is believed to date back nearly 200 years, according to Dr Pham Quoc Quan, director of the Vietnam History Museum. It was casted after guns used on Spanish merchant or warships.

According to Tran Trong Ha, director of the Quang Ninh Museum, the discovery marks a new stage for the underwater archeology sector in the province as well as the northern region of Viet Nam.

Scores of ancient ceramic objects were also discovered by local fishermen at the site.