Promoting Asian Maritime Research

July 31, 2006

I’d like to take a moment to highlight a topic that has often been overlooked in maritime archaeology: Asian seafaring. Relatively few archaeological excavations have been done in Asian waters, and even less has been published on those topics. Books or websites (especially in English) are few and far between.

Recently I’ve taken advantage of the Internet to try to expand connections between students and scholars of Asian maritime history and archaeology. We’ve created a listserv via Yahoo! Groups to encourage discussion of Asian maritime topics (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/asiamaritime/) . To date, we have members from the USA, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Australia, and more.

Ideally we hope to become not just a place to exchange emails, but to also actively encourage and promote each other’s research. To that end, we are building resource pages encompassing links to other Asian maritime websites and a bibliography of works relating to all Asian maritime topics, including archaeological and historical studies. My research has focused so far mostly on Japanese topics, so the list is heavily weighted towards Japan at the moment, but I hope to see it expand and grow to incorporate much more of Asia.

We in the West have so much to learn about our Asian neighbors, and I look forward to being a small part of facilitating that exchange of information. If you are at all interested in Asian seafaring, I encourage you to join the list and ask questions or contribute your knowledge. Signup is free with a Yahoo! ID. Or, if you would rather not join the list but have done research on Asian maritime topics, I ask most respectfully for your contributions to our bibliographic database.

Please take a moment to fill out the Asian Maritime Bibliography survey here: http://chnm.gmu.edu/tools/surveys/2302/ .

Entries to date may be viewed here:
http://chnm.gmu.edu/tools/surveys/2302/responses/ .

Thank you for your interest, and I look forward to hearing from you!

Michelle Damian
(Graduate Student, East Carolina University)


One comment

  1. Michelle,

    I hope you are aware of the Asian/Colony connections/collections at the Peabody Essex Musuem in Salem Massachusetts. Very cool.

    Good luck–great project!

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