The Koh Sdech Shipwreck and maritime trade in the 15th century

Finds fro the Koh Sdech shipwreck. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160723

A feature on the finds from the Koh Sdech shipwreck, discovered off the coast of Cambodia and the tale of how the finds were looted and seized, as well as the connection between the ceramics found in the shipwreck with similar pieces from the Cardamom Mountains.

Finds fro the Koh Sdech shipwreck. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160723
Finds fro the Koh Sdech shipwreck. Source: Cambodia Daily 20160723

Shipwreck Highlights Sprawling Sea Trade
Cambodia Daily, 22 July 2016

Sometime in the 15th century, a ship caught fire off the coast of Koh Kong province and sank about 20 meters to the ocean floor.

Over 500 years later, a group of Vietnamese fishermen cast their nets about 20 km off the coast of Koh Sdech island and hauled in an unlikely catch.

They might have snagged one of thousands of pieces of Thai ceramics that sat alongside Chinese por­celain, ivory and untold other ar­tifacts, evidence of a bustling maritime trade that stretched across Southeast Asia and beyond.

Surfacing and cataloging the artifacts began in 2006 and involved money from a casino magnate, underwater dives by an alleged Russian fraudster, and expertise from Cambodian and American archaeologists.

Full story here.

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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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