Defeating the fleet of Kublai Khan: the Bach Dang River and Van Don Naval battlefields research project

Mark Staniforth, Jun Kimura, Le Thi Lien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

An international research group including researchers from, or associated with, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A & M University, the Field Museum in Chicago, the University of Colorado, Denver as well as Monash University, Murdoch University and Flinders University in Australia have worked in Vietnam. Since 2008 this international team has worked together with Vietnamese researchers from the Institute of Archaeology (Vietnamese Academy of Social Sciences) to conduct maritime archaeological and related projects, currently under the provisions of a formal five-year agreement. Research is being conducted on archaeological, and other sites, associated with two highly significant naval battles where the armed forces of Chinese Emperor Kublai Khan were defeated in 1288 A.D. at the Bach Dang River and near the ancient port of Van Don. The Bach Dang River and Van Don Naval battlefields research project forms a part of a larger effort that involves Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) training, capability building, awareness raising and developing multi-disciplinary research approaches working under the general banner of the Vietnam Maritime Archaeology Project (VMAP). Since 2008 the research team has conducted preliminary investigations of the available historical sources, maps, charts and aerial photographs as well as archaeological and geophysical survey complemented by test excavations and stratigraphic coring at both Bach Dang River and Van Don. Research seasons between 2008 and 2010 have been previously been reported by the principal investigators. This paper outlines four short seasons of archaeological research, conducted between 2011 and 2014, around the two areas where the Bach Dang River and Van Don battles took place.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3016227
Pages (from-to)29-44
Number of pages16
JournalArcheologia Postmedievale
Volume18
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Archaeology- Vietnam
  • Kublai Kahn
  • Naval battlefields

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