Institute of Archaeology (IA) building in Hanoi (photo by Jun Kimura courtesy of the Bach Dang River and Van Don Research Team).

Underwater Cultural Heritage in Vietnam

Since 2008 an interdisciplinary team of researchers and academics that includes specialists in archaeology, surveying, geophysical research, palaeo-landscape and memory studies from the USA, Australia, Canada and Japan has been working in cooperation with researchers from the Institute of Archaeology (IA) at the Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences (VASS) with the support of the Quang Ninh Province Management Board and the cooperation of the Yen Hung district at the site of the Bach Dang battle of 1288 A.D.

In 2011 the Institute of Archaeology signed a five year agreement with the Bach Dang and Van Don Research Team to help to develop awareness of, and capacity building in, Vietnamese maritime and underwater archaeology and the management, investigation and protection of maritime and underwater cultural heritage. This will include an awareness raising project to conduct internationally recognized NAS (Nautical Archaeology Society) training on underwater cultural heritage and maritime archaeology to help preserve and protect Vietnam's underwater cultural heritage. In addition in recent years, three archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology have been trained in maritime archaeology through SEAMEO/SPAFA and UNESCO training programs in Thailand.

In 2012 the research team, which had largely restricted their work to the sites at Bach Dang, expanded their activities to capitalize on the presence and experience of the international team of maritime archaeologists and underwater cultural heritage managers as they visit Vietnam on an annual basis for the Bach Dang and Van Don Battlefield Research project.

On 1 July 2013 The new Underwater Archaeology Department of the Institute of Archaeology (In Vietnamese: Phòng Khảo cổ học Dưới nước) formally started operations. Dr. Le Thi Lien is the Head of the Underwater Archaeology Department.

Previous  Next