Vietnam's coastline stretches for more than 3,400 km and seafaring activity has been an important part of it's trade for more than 2,000 years. Vietnam is centrally located in South East Asia and was on the "Maritime Silk Route" that ran from China to the west via the South China Sea. At this stage little is known about how many shipwrecks or other maritime and underwater cultural heritage sites might exist in Vietnam. This presentation will focus on two areas that the Vietnam Maritime Archaeology Project (VMAP) has been working on for the last decade. The first is in central Vietnam near the coastal city of Quang Ngai. Along its shores are remnants of prehistoric ports, early citadels and a bay that's trapped vessels that date from the 9th to the 19th century. The second is further north on one of the barrier islands of Ha Long Bay where burials stretching back possibly 5000 years were discovered last year. These were a maritime people and possibly part of the migration of people from China to the rest of Asia.

About the presenter

Ian McCann’s main focus of research is maritime archaeology in Vietnam, Western Australia and Japan.  As an associate of the Vietnam Maritime Archaeology Project (VMAP) since 2012 he’s been involved with searching for the battle sites of Bach Dang and the port of Van Don, where the armies and naval forces of Kublai Khan (1260–1294) were defeated, trading ports in central Vietnam and terrestrial sites on Quan Lan Island from modern times to 5000 BP.  With the Japan Maritime Archaeology Project (JMAP) the search for the Spanish galleon the San Francisco is continuing. It sank off the coast of Japan in 1609 and now in the fourth year of searching and all that’s been found so far is a single stone cannonball.  Ian is an eternal optimist.


Contact seadin.gallagher@uq.net.au or e.mein@uq.edu.au for Zoom meeting details.

About Archaeology Working Papers

The Working Papers in Archaeology seminar series provides a forum for dissemination of archaeological research and ideas amongst UQ archaeology students and staff. All students are invited to attend the series and postgraduate students, from honours upwards, are invited to present their research. The aim is to provide opportunities for students, staff and those from outside UQ, to present and discuss their work in an informal environment. It is hoped that anyone interested in current archaeological directions, both within and outside the School and University, will be able to attend and contribute to the series.


Contact seadin.gallagher@uq.net.au or e.mein@uq.edu.au for Zoom meeting details.