Story of the Month - February 2020

Updated: Apr 16, 2021


A mural painting of pottery making in South China (Photo credit: Sharon Wong Wai-yee)


Prof. Sharon Wong Wai-yee, Department of Anthropology, has a strong interest in the ancient maritime silk road. When she was conducting archaeological research in Angkor, Cambodia, Prof. Wong found that Chinese ceramics in Angkor were imported through Vietnam. She decided to further study the maritime ceramic road between Vietnam and China.


Prof. Wong undergoes research from an ethno archaeological perspective to reconstruct the social life of ancient humans. She conducted field work in South China in 2019, which included collecting information on pottery craft, visiting local archeological sites, and investigated what Chinese products were exported to Southeast Asia. In addition, Prof. Wong visited museums and archeological sites in Vietnam, and made video records of the process of making ceramics.


Researchers often face various kinds of difficulties during field research, and Prof. Wong is no exception. First, communication before field work. Appropriate connections should be established prior to field work, so that visits to collaborating units and villages can proceed smoothly. Secondly the language barrier. As Prof. Wong did not speak the local languages, she was concerned that the interviews would be affected. Fortunately, she was finally able to identify suitable interpreters.


Because of the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus globally, Prof. Wong’s research plan has been delayed. However, she is still hopeful in taking a group of CUHK students to Vietnam for a summer field trip with academic exchange with local university students. Prof. Wong also plans to organize a public exhibition next year to showcase her research findings and the academic exchange.



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