Vietnam Time

7/10/2018 11:44:51 AM

Dung Quat ancient shipwreck excavated

The excavation of an ancient shipwreck discovered in Binh Son district, in the central coastal province of Quang Ngai, began on July 9.

At the excavation site. (Photo: VNA)

The work covers an area of 800sq.m in Hao Hung port where the ship was found during a dredging project near the Dung Quat economic zone in 2017. 

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 vessel is about 30m long and 10m wide, containing ceramic items, many of which can be traced back to the Chinese Ming dynasty in the 16th century. It is located at a depth of 9 metres, and 6-7 metres from the shore.

Experts examine objects taken from the sunken vessel. (Photo:

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, former 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.

The excavated objects will be preserved at Quang Ngai province’s museum, while the national museum and the provincial culture department will be responsible for sending a report to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism.

This is the seventh shipwreck discovered and excavated in Vietnam and the first without the support of foreign experts or private firms.

According to Duong Trung Quoc, Secretary of the Vietnam Association of Historical Sciences, the excavation drew great attention from the Government, and it is significant to the story of historical preservation in the country.

Quang Ngai province’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 VND 48.4 billion (USD 2.1 million) from the State budget./.

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