Living and Trading in Hội An: The Development of a Nguyễn Port in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

Author: Charlotte Looram

Looram, Charlotte Papillaud, 2016 Living and Trading in Hội An: The Development of a Nguyễn Port in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Flinders University, School of Humanities and Creative Arts

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Abstract

Hội An was formally established as the Nguyễn Lord’s foreign trading port in the late sixteenth century. It was a major entrepôt in the East Asian trade network in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, attracting Japanese, Chinese, and European traders. It has been the subject of numerous historical studies which have emphasized the cosmopolitanism inherent in an international port. Archaeological investigation followed Hội An’s inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1999. These have focused on the influence of the Japanese and Chinese communities on the architecture of the town. This thesis builds upon these previous works to understand how the port and the town evolved during these two centuries. This research employs a maritime cultural landscape approach to highlight the role of trade in the development of Hội An. Trade was the primary economic activity of the town, as such Hội An grew so as to always facilitate it. In addition, trade attracted various foreign communities who influenced the port through their traditions and their interactions with each other. The maritime cultural landscape approach helps understand this dual impact on Hội An. This thesis has thus established a timeline for the development of Hội An based on the interactions of Japanese, Chinese, and European traders in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Keywords: maritime archaeology, Vietnam, maritime cultural landscape, port studies, early modern period,
Subject: Archaeology thesis, Humanities thesis

Thesis type: Masters
Completed: 2016
School: School of Humanities and Creative Arts
Supervisor: Wendy van Duivenvoorde