The aim of the 2001 UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage is to enable states to protect their submerged heritage as cultural treasures of humanity. The 2001 Convention is widely recognized as the foremost document in the fields of setting ethics, providing legal site protection, and establishing scientific guidelines for activities directed at submerged heritage.
Throughout history many of the ships travelling the maritime Silk Roads were wrecked and now lie on the seabed as important sources of historic information. The remains of sunken cities, port structures, and shipwrecks qualify as underwater cultural heritage protected by the UNESCO 2001 Convention. They embody a magnificent heritage with great, but as yet under used, potential for research, education and tourism. Today, these scientifically valuable sites are highly threatened by extensive treasure-hunting and industrial operations with sites destroyed daily.
The Silk Roads online platform has compiled the underwater heritage of the maritime Silk Routes.
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Underwater Heritage along the Silk Roads
|Title Sort descending||Theme||Country|
|12th-13th century Wreck||Shipwreck||Italy|
|Ancient settlement and Russian merchant shipwreck||Shipwreck||Azerbaijan|
|Binh Thuan (1608)||Shipwreck||Viet Nam|
|Ca Mau (1725)||Shipwreck||Viet Nam|
|Godavaya wreck (2000 years ago)||Shipwreck||Sri Lanka|
|Great Basses wreck||Shipwreck||Sri Lanka|
|Guangdong Maritime Silk Road Museum||Museum||China|
|Hoi An/Cu Lao Cham (15th century)||Shipwreck||Viet Nam|
|Huaguangjiao No.1 Shipwreck||Shipwreck||China|
|Junk wreck||Shipwreck||Brunei Darussalam|
|Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara||Port||United Republic of Tanzania|
|Klang Aow I (1500-1530)||Shipwreck||Thailand|
|Klang Aow II (1520-1540)||Shipwreck||Thailand|