- Three-volume report of joint research of the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage and the National Museum of Vietnamese History -
The National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage (NRIMCH, Director Lee Gwi-young), Cultural Heritage Administration (CHA) jointly investigated ancient harbors and ports across Vietnam for eight years from 2012 (2012-2019) with the National Museum of Vietnamese History (Director General Nguyễn Văn Đoàn), and published the results of investigation and research - “Ancient Trading Ports of Vietnam” in three volumes.
The report “Ancient Trading Ports of Vietnam” is on the findings of joint investigation and research conducted with Vietnamese researchers on more than 400 harbors and ports located along 3,260㎞ of Vietnam coastline. It divides the long, narrow nation stretching from north to south into northern region, central region and southern region. The volumes contain harbors and ports of each region developed throughout the history of Vietnam.
The most significant achievement of “Ancient Trading Ports of Vietnam” is that it is the starting point to reveal the historical truth of Vietnamese maritime culture. It conducted complete survey on harbors and ports of Vietnam for the first time, including not only the ones that are still in use, also the ones disappeared into history.
The paper focuses on markets, merchants and their trading goods based on formation process of trading ports in Thăng Long-the oldest city in Vietnam (ancient name of Hà Nội)- and northern, central, and southern regions of Vietnam. Moreover, the paper discusses the life of people, traditional belief and life style around the trading port by surveying archival records.
The presence of various types of ceramics and coins during the investigation of Vietnam’s harbors and ports suggested vigorous trade in the past. It is assumed countless shipwrecks are in the water off central region of Vietnam; especially in ‘Nghệ An’, ‘Bình Định’, ‘Khánh Hòa’, and ‘Quảng Ngãi’. Collections of ceramics recovered by fishermen are easily be seen at private houses in Bình Châu sea area in Quảng Ngãi Province. Long-time exchange between Korea and Vietnam could be presumed based on relics such as Three Kingdoms Periods earthenware pottery, Goryeo celadon, and coins, which were confirmed during the investigation.
Large number of rivers and estuaries in hinterland and along the coastal areas of Vietnam allowed the formation of ports and harbors. These were mainspring for development of the ancient Đông Sơn culture and Sa Huỳnh culture. They are determined to have acted as important hubs connecting countries of indochina peninsula.
* Đông Sơn culture
- Representative prehistoric Bronze Age culture of Vietnam flourished at the Sông Hồng River of northern Vietnam.
* Sa Huỳnh culture
- Culture in modern-day central and southern Vietnam that flourished between 1,000 BC and 200 AD, which has distinctive jar coffin tombs and earrings ornaments.
The publication of “Ancient Trading Ports of Vietnam” of NRIMCH and joint investigation on ports and harbors of Vietnam is a stepping stone to more research cooperation between two countries; South Korea and Vietnam. Furthermore, NRIMCH will extend research cooperation with other Asian countries like China, Japan, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, etc on the maritime silk road.
Department: Maritime Relics Research Department of the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage
Person in charge: Im Hyeong-jun (061-270-2081), Kang Won-chun (061-270-2089)