2020 Session 2

Session 2: History and Current Trends of Underwater Archaeology around East Asia


East Asia is extremely rich in underwater cultural heritage, such as conventional shipwrecks under the sea, submerged settlement sites on the bottoms of inland lakes and rivers, or prehistoric shell mounds and stone tidal weirs along coastal zones.  Many shipwrecks or their cargos have been discovered by underwater archaeologists one after another in the waters, and each nation has moved forward with its own underwater archaeological policy and numerous underwater projects both on governmental and grassroots levels.  On the other hand, no East Asian country has ratified the UNESCO 2001 Convention yet.  In this area, the document-based historical study or terrestrial archaeology has a long tradition, which has had a noteworthy impact upon underwater archaeology and its methodology.  Recently, in addition, the technological advancement in underwater survey has remarkably been made; using remote-sensing with satellites, robotics for ROVs or AUVs, or 3D photogrammetry by computer softwares mitigates or cancels the limitations regarding accessibility and working time caused by underwater environment.  The tie between such modern technologies and traditional archaeology or history has minted new applications and perspectives of underwater cultural heritage study.  The multi-disciplinary or holistic approaches are increasingly more and more necessary among East Asian researchers.     


Session Organisers:

Prof. Dr. Akifumi Iwabuchi
Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology

Dr. Kotaro Yamafune