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15 August 2007 (Nhan Dan, Vietnam Net Bridge) – After two days of nothing but Angkor news, we head to Vietnam to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Hoi An to read how Japanese assistance has helped in the analysis of over 200 relics and the excavation of 10 sites in the province. Both aren’t very long stories and they both basically say the same thing, but it’s good to know that archaeological research in the region is being actively pursued by teams from different countries.

Japan funds heritage surveys in Hoi An

The heritage-rich central province of Quang Nam has been surveying over 200 relics in ancient Hoi An town thanks to assistance provided by Japanese universities and organisations.

Hoi An is one of the two world heritage sites recognised by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) in Quang Nam .

The programme has over the past decade enabled the province to excavate 10 archeological sites, salvage ship wrecks off the Cu Lao Cham islands, and conduct a US $50,000 research project on Sa Huynh culture. The Sa Huynh culture, that dates between 1000 BC-AD 200, was the name given to the umfield (jar burials) culture on the coastal plains of central and south Vietnam .

Japan has also doled out over VND 4 billion and sent experts to aid in the conservation of 10 ancient houses and two ancient tombs. A number of Japanese historians have worked in Hoi An to study Southeast Asian cultures.

Survey of the architecture and relics in Hoi An

According to the Center for the Preservation of Hoi An’s relics, over the past 10 years, Japanese universities and other organizations have worked with the central province of Quang Nam to conduct a survey of more than 200 relics in Hoi An ancient town.

In addition, they also conducted excavations at 10 archaeological sites, and surveyed the wrecked vessel at Cu Lao Cham; provided over 50,000 USD to conduct cultural research of the Sa Huynh culture in Hoi An.

Japan has also donated more than 4 billion VND and sent experts to Vietnam to preserve and restore 12 relics, including 10 old houses and 2 ancient tombs in Hoi An.

Several Japanese scientists have also selected Hoi An to research this ancient Southeast Asian culture.

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