SOAS University of London

Centre of South East Asian Studies

Maritime Trade and Shipwrecks: Recent Discoveries from Vietnam and Central Thailand

Abhirada Komoot (PhD Candidate, University of Western Australia) and Do Truong Giang (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences)

Date: 13 January 2021Time: 11:00 AM

Finishes: 13 January 2021Time: 1:00 PM

Venue: Virtual Event

Type of Event: Webinar

The Phanom-Surin Shipwreck and Cultural Exchange between Mainland Southeast Asia and the wider Indian Ocean World

Abhirada Komoot (PhD Candidate, University of Western Australia)
Maritime Shipwrecks SEA


During the late 1st millennium CE the maritime trade network in the Indian Ocean gradually expanded, before its decline in the 10th century CE. The 9th century CE Phanom-Surin shipwreck (PNS) reveals a sewn-plank construction technique similar to that of the Arabian Sea region. The wreck site is located in the lower central plain of Thailand approximately 40 kilometres southwest of Bangkok. During the 6th–11th centuries the area was occupied by the Dvaravati people. Along with previously recovered archaeological evidence, the wreck allows us to reflect on the connections between Indian Ocean seafarers and the people of Dvaravati.This presentation considers the archaeological evidence and the Arab and Chinese texts that highlight the role of multi-cultural merchants in the regional Southeast Asian shipping business and their contact with Dvaravati.

Abhirada Komoot
Speaker Biography

Abhirada Komoot is in the final year of her doctoral studies in maritime archaeology at the University of Western Australia. Her primary work on maritime and underwater cultural heritagehas been conducted in close cooperation with the Thai government. Subsequently, she expanded her interests to include the maritime history of Southeast Asia and the broader Indian Ocean. Her current research focuses on the study of the Phanom-Surin shipwreck in Thailand. She aims to understand the maritime connections of the Indian Ocean World in the late 1st millennium CE.

Champa’s Long-distance Cultural Exchange: A View from Maritime Archaeology and History

Do Truong Giang (Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences)
SEA Maritime Trade


Previous studies mainly present Champa as a kingdom profoundly impacted by Indian civilization. More recent studies, however, have demonstrated that Champa also greatly benefited from exchanges with other cultural centres, especially China and the Middle East. Based on Chinese historical documents, inscriptions of ancient Champa, and the recent discovery of the 9th century Chau Tan shipwreck in central Vietnam, this presentation aims to shed new light on cross-cultural trade and long-distance exchanges from the 8th to the 13th century CE. On the one hand it will take the tributary trade between Champa and the Tang and Song courts of China into account, on the other hand it will discuss Champa’s engagement in the expansion of Muslim maritime trade networks in the Indian Ocean.

Do Truong Giang
Speaker Biography

Do Truong Giang served as general secretary of the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society in Singapore (2013– 2014) and lectured at the Society, the Asia Research Institute, and Asian Civilisations Museum. He has also presented papers at scientific conferences in Asia and Europe.

Giang is currently Head of the Department of Information and International Cooperation, Institute of Imperial Citadel Studies - Vietnam Academy of Social Sciences. He is in charge of promoting international cooperation in the field of archaeology and Vietnamese history, organizes international conferences, and is now constructing a database for the Institute. His work includes the research, classification, evaluation and compilation of scientific documents related to the Thang Long Imperial Citadel site in Hanoi, and excavations at the site of Champa and Oc Eo in Southern Vietnam.

Giang has received a number of research fellowships and awards, including the Research Fellowship for Southeast Asian Scholars at the University of Michigan (2013) when he worked on ‘The Economic Integration of Champa into the Regional and Global Economic System (800–1450 CE): Evidence from Trade Ceramics’. He has also published internationally including most recently a chapter: ‘Ports and Trade in Amarāvatī’ in Vibrancy in Stone: Masterpieces of the Đà Nẵng Museum of Cham Sculpture (2018).

Loading the player...

Maritime Trade and Shipwrecks: Recent Discoveries from Vietnam and Central Thailand

This event is made possible by generous support from SOAS's Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme.

Organiser: SOAS Centre of South East Asian Studies and SOAS Southeast Asian Art Academic Programme

Contact email: