Public lecture: The Cargo of the East Indiaman Götheborg Shipwreck

For anyone interested in underwater archaeology and the Southeast Asian ceramics trade, you might be interested in this talk at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore.

The Cargo of the East Indiaman Götheborg Shipwreck
02 Apr 2008
Wednesday, 7.00 pm
Discovery Room, ACM Empress Place

By Borje Forssell, Chairman, Oriental Ceramic Society of Sweden

Co-organised by the Asian Civilisations Museum and the Southeast Asian Ceramic Society

The Swedish East India Company was established in 1731 with the sole purpose to trade in Asia. The company enjoyed a 15-year monopoly which resulted in Swedish timber, tar, iron and copper being traded for silver, tea, porcelain and silk from Asia. Although the company was situated in Gothenburg, most of the ships were built in Stockholm.

The East Indiaman Götheborg was a large wooden sailing ship that sank off Gothenburg, Sweden, on 12 September 1745, while approaching its home harbour after returning from her voyage to Canton, China. All 141 crew and passengers survived, but the ship was lost.

The cargo of the East Indiaman Götheborg included silk, tea, ceramics, pepper, galangal, mother of pearl and tuttanego (a metal used for making decorations). In total, 650-700 tons of cargo were on board. After several earlier attempts to recover the cargo, marine archaeologists have now researched the wreck site.

About the speaker
Borje Forssell is Chairman of the Oriental Ceramic Society of Sweden and has been diving for wrecks in Southeast Asia for more than 20 years. He will talk about the cargo of the East Indiaman Götheborg and compare it to the cargoes from other wreck sites such as the Geldermalsen (Nanking Cargo) and the Diana.

Free admission to talk.
Related Books:
The Traditional Ceramics of Southeast Asia by M. Shippen
Lost at Sea: The Strange Route of the Lena Shoal Junk
The Ceramics of Southeast Asia : Their Dating and Identification by R. M. Brown
The Pearl Road: Tales of Treasure Ships in the Philippines by C. Loviny
Shipwrecks and Sunken Treasure in Southeast Asia by T. Wells

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Author: Noel Tan

Dr Noel Hidalgo Tan is the Senior Specialist in Archaeology at SEAMEO-SPAFA, the Southeast Asian Regional Centre for Archaelogy and Fine Arts.

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