Culture ministry permits salvaging ancient shipwreck

Last update: 16:35 | 09/07/2018

VietNamNet Bridge – The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism has permitted the National Museum of Vietnamese History to co-ordinate with Quang Ngai Province’s culture department to salvage a shipwreck in the sea area of the central province’s Binh Son District.


Experts examine objects taken from the sunken vessel. — Photo

The work will cover an area of 800sq.m around the shipwreck.

The salvage process is expected to last from now until September 15. The next five months will be used for classifying and defining the objects gathered. Researcher Nguyen Van Doan, deputy director of the museum will supervise the task.

The objects will then be preserved at Quang Ngai provincial museum, while the national museum will be responsible for sending a report to the culture ministry.

The ship was discovered during a dredging project to construct a port in waters near Quang Ngai Province’s Dung Quat mixed-use economic zone last July.

The vessel is about 30m long and 10m wide, containing ceramic items traced back to the 16th century, many of which were produced in China. It is located at a depth of 9m, 6-7m from the shore.

The vessel and its cargo may provide information on an epoch of thriving trade in silk and pottery between Quang Ngai and foreign countries, according to Nguyen Dang Vu, director of the local Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

In the feudal past, Chinese merchant ships often visited the province to wait out storms, do business, and stock up on food, said Doan Ngoc Khoi, deputy director of the local general museum.

Quang Ngai’s coastal waters are nicknamed ‘the cemetery of ancient ships’ due to the high number of shipwrecks discovered there.

Archaeologists believe that many of these ships may have been set on fire either accidentally by sailors or deliberately by pirates.

Earlier this year, Culture Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien approved a plan to salvage the ship with proposed budget of VND48.4 billion (US$2.1 million) from the State budget. 

Source: VNS

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