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

Author: Charlotte Papillaud 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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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