Tang Dynasty Chinese Ceramics From the Vung Tau Shipwreck in Southern Coast of Vietnam

Đỗ Trường Giang Alex1 & Lương Chánh Tòng2

1Institute of Imperial Citadel Studies - Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences, Vietnam

2History Museum of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Several shipwrecks containing trading ceramics have been discovered off the coast of Vietnam in recent years. Following the discovery of the 9th century Chau Tan shipwreck in Quang Ngai province in 2012, another Tang Dynasty shipwreck was recently discovered in the waters of Con Dao (Vung Tau, Vietnam). The ceramics from the Vung Tau shipwreck have been variously recovered, seized, and displayed in a number of official and private collections. This overview focusses on a group of Tang Dynasty Chinese ceramics from the Vung Tau collections. We compare these Tang Dynasty Chinese ceramics to ceramic remains from the Chau Tan shipwreck. In addition, preliminary comparisons of the types of ceramics found on these shipwrecks with ceramic assemblages recovered from archaeological sites on the Vietnamese mainland dating to the 9th and 10th centuries CE (including Champa and Oc Eo sites) will also be discussed. Based on the outcomes of this study we discuss the origin, date and function of the ceramics discovered on shipwrecks, the owners of the ships and their cargoes, and the regional maritime trade routes during the Tang Dynasty from a marine archaeological perspective.