A beautiful multimedia feature on the shipwrecks found off the coast of Vietnam, underwater archaeology, and the problem of looting.
A feature on the underwater archaeology of Quang Ngai province, where the Binh Chau district is particularly rich with underwater remains. There are aspirations to developing eco-tourism incorporating the maritime archaeology of the area, but the salvaging and sale of artefacts remain a problem
The University of Guam is looking for an assistant or associate professor in archaeology with a focus in maritime archaeology in the Western Pacific. Applications are reviewed until 20 January 2015. See full information.
A couple of news stories arising from the underwater archaeology symposium in Quang Ngai city last week; one is about the symposium, while the other is about an associated exhibition at the Quang Ngai Museum featuring finds salvaged from the waters in the area.
The article about the conference quotes Prof Staniforth as saying that Vietnam needs a younger generation of underwater archaeologists to be trained, but I think the journalist missed the bigger point that he was trying to make. Prof. Staniforth also stressed that governments needed to be more committed in underwater archaeologists, in both the training, as well as in the legislative and enforcement frameworks for protecting underwater heritage. It is interesting to note that a number of the shipwreck finds from Vietnam are in the hands of private collectors now, being sold in markets like Singapore.
VN needs young underwater archaeologists
Vietnam Net, 17 October 2014
Quang Ngai boasts potential for underwater cultural heritage sites
Saigon Giai Phong, 17 October 2014
While the headline on the page is about a Boddhisattva statue that changes colour with the light, of greater interest is the recovery of a large anchor in the waters of Hue, dating to around the 17th century.
This week I am reporting from Quang Ngai City in Central Vietnam, for the Southeast Asian underwater archaeology conference. The conference started today with a field trip to the Ly Son Islands to look at some of the local heritage sites.
China’s increasing presence in the South China Sea has been worrying for Southeast Asia and underwater archaeology has played a role in strengthening China’s claim over the sea, over equally legitimate claims by countries like Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam. China’s is aiming to list the maritime silk road as a World Heritage Site and one could interpret the inclusion of disputed sites as a way to strengthen her claim on territories. Something to keep an eye on in the future – since the maritime silk route was not exclusively used by China and was a truly international trade route that would make better sense with many countries sharing the site listing together.
Xinhua, 13 July 2014
This is a call for papers for experts in research and management of underwater archaeology and underwater cultural heritage. Deadline for abstracts is 31 July 2014
International Symposium: Underwater Archaeology in Vietnam and Southeast Asia: Potential and challenged issues
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.
Can Vietnam carry out archaeology activities in East Sea?
Vietnam Net, 31 March 2014
Prof Nguyen Tac An, formerly of the Nha Trang Institute of Oceanography, comments about what’s needed in order for underwater archaeology in Vietnam to develop.