The World Lighthouse Hub

Pharology - History

E00: Summary

Very little has been written in the English language about lightstructures in Southeast Asia, China, Japan or the Indian sub-continent. The primary purpose of this paper therefore is to describe the history of the development of lighthouses in these regions. In a parallel paper [1], the location and date of the first lightstructures was discussed and evidence was presented for a number of candidate structures to have been built by the early civilisations of the Mediterranean – the precursor to the “Western” culture - between two and three thousand years ago. It is natural to ask about the lighthouses in Asia and whether “Eastern” cultures might also have built early lighthouses. We conclude that there is scant evidence for the existence of early lightstructures in China and Japan, but that the extensive systems of navigational aids currently in place throughout the region owe their existence entirely to the European Imperialist nations in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.