Shipwrecks reveal ancient trade routes

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Shipwrecks at Quang Ngai Province. Source: Viet Nam Net 20141123

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

Shipwrecks at Quang Ngai Province. Source: Viet Nam Net 20141123

Shipwrecks at Quang Ngai Province. Source: Viet Nam Net 20141123

Shipwrecks reveal ancient trade routes
Viet Nam Net, 23 November 2014
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Stories from last week’s underwater archaeology conference in Vietnam

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Underwater archaeology symposium in Quang Ngai City. Saigon: Vietnam Net 20141017

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.

Underwater archaeology symposium in Quang Ngai City. Saigon: Vietnam Net 20141017

Underwater archaeology symposium in Quang Ngai City. Saigon: Vietnam Net 20141017

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
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China’s maritime silk road World Heritage Site proposal includes disputed areas

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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.

China looks for UNESCO approval in disputed S China Sea waters
Xinhua, 13 July 2014
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The race to salvage Vietnam’s underwater heritage

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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
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