CIE Activities with Hong Kong
Heritage Education Programme: Maritime Archaeology Training
Partners: Hong Kong Underwater Cultural Heritage Group (HKUHG), Lord Wilson Heritage Trust, Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Foundation.
CIE's Bill Jeffrey has been the key figure in our Hong Kong activities. Our work has centred around the training of a group of local divers according to the Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) training programme. This culminated in an NAS Part 2 Survey Report of a sample of ceramics found off Port Island in Hong Kong waters.
The group of divers then went on to found a group known as the Hong Kong Underwater Heritage Group (HKUGH). This group subsequently successfully applied for funding from the Lord Wilson Heritage Trust to compile a database of underwater cultural heritage sites, making regular reports on their work through their website, publications, journal articles and brochure.
The 18-month KHUHG project began in August 2009, commencing with the compilation of a database and website. This website includes the ongoing development of the database, as well as news and background information about the projects and sites being worked on. This was also designed to become a central platform to allow divers in Hong Kong to provide feedback on any new sites and stories related to the maritime history of the area.
CIE continues to provide assistance and advice to the HKUHG with any issues relating to maritime and underwater cultural heritage, including further training, collaboration or funding proposals. Bill Jeffrey has regularly revisited the team to help their investigations and underwater activities, providing on-the-job training for the archaeological divers.
In 2010 a survey was made of a scatter of ceramics discovered off Port Island. The sample consisted of over 300 sherds, which were recovered for recording, identification and dating. This survey was undertaken over a five day period, examining two small sections of the seabed. The finds predominantly represented eating materials such as ceramic cups, dishes, bowls and spoons.
On the 30th November 2010, the Hong Kong Maritime Museum launched an exhibition on diving entitled 'Fathoming the Sea'. The HKUHG were heavily involved with the process and had much input into the exhibition and production of an accompanying booklet. To help promote their activities a brochure was published and made available during the exhibition, advertising the work of the group with the assistance of CIE and their other supporters.
See the brochure
After some research into oral histories and investigations of a number of archaeological sites in the area, a shipwreck was selected to be surveyed by the group in 2011. The remains are of a modern timber vessel, which put together with the ceramics surveyed the previous year will provide information on the potential and range of sites and materials that can be found in Hong Kong waters.
HKUHG member Marco Li plotting the survey information to compile the site plan
CIE and HKUHG celebrating a successful day's work.
The survey of 2010 took place during the annual dragon boat racing carnival in Hong Kong