China: This 800-year-old shipwreck has been kept secret for decades

In December 2007, Nanhai 1 and its valuable contents (with a total weight of 15,600 tons) were transported to the Guangdong Naval Silk Museum on Hailing Island, which was specially built to house the wreck. a Nanhai 1 was placed in a custom – made salt water tank. Much of the cargo was not removed from the junk cargo area. To prevent any deterioration, the boat and its contents are covered with mud and water and the tank is kept at the same temperature as the waters in which the wreckage was discovered. Under these carefully controlled conditions, archaeologists continue to study it.


Archaeologists have found tens of thousands of objects Nanhai 1including 100 gold artifacts and thousands of coins. However, most of the 60,000 to 80,000 objects found in the ruins are pottery from the Southern Song period.

The sea routes on which the Southern Song relied are known to historians as the Sea Silk Road. The Silk Road, which appeared at about the same time as the rise of Rome in the West, connected Indonesia and the Moluccas, India, the Arab world and the Greco-Roman world of the Mediterranean.

It is likely that Nanhai 1 sailed from the port of Guangzhou (also known as Guangzhou) along the Pearl River Delta, which, along with Quanzhou and Xiamen, was one of the main ports in southern China.

For historians, Nanhai 1 reveals the type of items carried by the fleets 12e century. His vast supplies of pottery included Jian black pottery, closely associated with the Song period, as well as Green Longquan seladón, known for its lotuses and other carved floral patterns. Celadon objects have been found throughout Southeast Asia, suggesting that it is in this area Nanhai 1.

Elliot Frost

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