Dung Quat Economic Zone from above. The X symbol in the photo marks the position where the shipwreck was discovered (Photo: VNA)

Quang Ngai (VNA) — The People’s Committee of Quang Ngai province has approved the excavation of a wrecked ancient ship that was recently discovered in the central province’s Dung Quat Economic Zone.

The provincial Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism will host the excavation, and will collaborate with relevant organisations to implement the work over 30 days or longer.

The excavation units will include divers equipped with cameras to identify the exact location and size of the vessel and to photograph it.

Additionally, they will outline the border of the shipwreck’s location and the surrounding area which might contains antiques from the ship and collect scientific data about the excavated area.

Previously, on July 26 and 27, workers of Hao Hung Limited Company discovered ceramic, terracotta and wooden fragments flowing in pipes while they were dredging water passages to construct the harbour in Dung Quat Sea Area.

Initial investigations revealed that it was a 20-30 metre long ship. It was discovered at about six to seven metres off the coast and about nine-metres deep in the sand near Tuyet Diem 3 village in Binh Thuan commune.

The sunken ship contains many ceramic objects like bowls and dishes, which is assumed to date back to China's Ming Dynasty in the 16th century by specialists. The ship may have been transporting ceramic and terracotta items before sinking. The excavated objects will receive initial treatments before being transported to Quang Ngai Comprehensive Museum for preservation.

According to Doan Ngoc Khoi, Vice Director of the museum, trader ships from the north used to harbour in the province to trade and buy food and water while avoiding storms during their voyages southwards.

The sea area in Binh Chau commune is believed to be the resting place for many wrecks dating from the eighth to 18th century. Archeologists have discovered that all the ships were burnt before being sunken, which might be attributed to attacks by pirates.

According to archeologist Nguyen Tuan Lam, the area has much heritage values.

“The area is not only rich in archeological heritage, as ‘the cemetery of the sunken ships’ that dated back to various historical periods, but also geologic heritage as it contains a unique volcanic deposit,” said Lam in an interview with zing.vn.-VNA