Public Lecture: A Millennium of Shipwreck Artifacts and the Stories they Tell

Folks in Singapore interested about the wealth of archaeological treasures found in the water of Southeast Asia might be interested in Dr Flecker’s talk at NUS on Tuesday.

Assorted Treasures: A Millennium of Shipwreck Artifacts and the Stories they Tell
Tuesday, 01 Dec 2009, 4.00pm – 6.00pm
Seminar Room II, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies

Mike Flecker will discuss assorted treasures from ten shipwrecks spanning 1,000 years. Treasures are different things to different people. Flecker’s talk will cater to all interpretations, from glistening gold and precious porcelain of great commercial value to commercially worthless artifacts of immense archaeological value. The former look very pretty but the latter, as a rule, have far more to tell us about the past. There are also treasures of a more personal nature, those that have acquired memento status for Flecker who excavated all ten of the wrecks discussed in this talk.

These days no maritime talk is complete without reference to the 9th-century Belitung Wreck, arguably the greatest maritime treasure trove ever discovered, and this talk will definitely be complete in this respect. However, the real archaeological treasures from that wreck never made it into the National Geographic account of the shipwreck. Another wreck to be discussed, the 10th-century Intan Wreck contained nothing but treasures, of incredible variety. Other wrecks to be explored include an Indonesian ship of the 13th century, a late 14th-century Thai trader, a Chinese junk contemporary with the voyages of Zheng He and another of the early 17th century, the only lorcha ever found, a Portuguese não, an East Indiaman, and even a Manila galleon; ships which traded between China, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Mexico and Europe. They all contribute to the fascinating assortment of treasures which will be discussed in this lecture.

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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.

One thought on “Public Lecture: A Millennium of Shipwreck Artifacts and the Stories they Tell”

  1. Would have loved to attend and learn. Unfortunately I have been called away on urgent work and won’t be in Singapore at that time. I hope I can make it another time. Thanks for keeping these updates on talks and programs.

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