Sunken Australian warship HMAS Perth ransacked by illegal scavengers

The Guardian, 05 June 2017:

One of Australia’s most treasured second world war warships has been illegally salvaged for metal, devastating the war grave of more than 300 sailors, maritime archaeologists say.

An Australian-Indonesian expedition conducted a dive on the wreck of HMAS Perth, which sank in 1942 following a fierce battle against the Japanese navy off the north-west tip of Java.

Kevin Sumption, the director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, said: “It is with profound regret we advise that our joint maritime archaeologist diving team has discovered sections of the Perth missing. Interim reports indicate only approximately 40% of the vessel remaining.

Source: Sunken Australian warship HMAS Perth ransacked by illegal scavengers | Australia news | The Guardian

The Punjulharjo ancient boat site

The Patriots, 03 June 2017: An article about the Punjulharjo ancient boat site, which was discovered in central Java in 2008. The author expresses hope that a similar boat which is thought to be in Malaysia’s Sungei Batu can be found. Article is in Bahasa Indonesia.

Source: Situs Perahu Kuno Punjulharjo, Gambaran Awal Kapal Kuno Sungai Batu | The Patriots

Tang Shipwreck, The: Art And Exchange In The 9th Century

From Select Books: A new book on the Belitung Shipwreck and its cargo which is now largely held and displayed in Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum.

Tang Shipwreck, The: Art And Exchange In The 9th Century

This book tells the story and presents the objects found on the Tang Shipwreck, discovered off Belitung Island in Indonesia in 1998, and now housed at the Asian Civilisations Museum in Singapore. It is one of the most significant archaeological discoveries of recent times. Found at the site was a remarkable cargo of some 60,000 Chinese ceramics dating from the Tang dynasty (618-907), along with finely wrought gold and silver objects, bronze mirrors, and more ordinary objects belonging to the crew. The ten essays in this profusely illustrated volume discuss the ceramics and other commodities on board, the ship’s construction and possible origin, China’s maritime trade in the Tang period, Chinese ceramic production, ports of call in Asia and Southeast Asia, and life on board the ship.

Source: Tang Shipwreck, The: Art And Exchange In The 9Th Century (Select Books: The Asian Book Specialist – Bookseller, Publisher and Distributor)

Two missing World War II B-25 bombers documented by Project Recover off Papua New Guinea

University of California, San Diego, 23 May 2017: Underwater archaeology of a more recent time. Project Recover aims to locate the resting places of Americans missing in action in World War II. Their most recent discovery are two B-25 bombers off Papua New Guinea.

Source: Two missing World War II B-25 bombers documented by Project Recover off Papua New Guinea | EurekAlert! Science News

Secrets Of The Sea: A Tang Shipwreck & Early Trade In Asia

Antiques and the Arts Weekly, 09 May 2017

In “Secrets of The Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Early Trade in Asia,” running through June 4 at the Asia Society Museum, 78 choice artifacts conjure trade on the flourishing maritime silk route that extended from the Abbasid caliphate to the Tang empire in the Ninth Century. As it turns out, active trading had been underway centuries before the Portuguese had arrived in search of goods and spices.

Curator Adrianna Proser hopes visitors will find the show intriguing, not only for its treasures but for its exploration “of the level of activity and exchange and trade that was crossing a large segment of the world so much earlier than people realized.”

Source: Secrets Of The Sea: A Tang Shipwreck & Early Trade In Asia

Maritime Grave Robbers Detained

The Maritime Executive, 08 May 2017: The Malaysian and Indonesian authorities have detained the MV Chuan Hong 68 and her crew, a vessel which is believed to be illegally looting shipwrecks (including war graves) in Indonesian and Malaysian waters.

 

MV Chuan Hong

Somebody has been stealing warships from Southeast Asian waters – more specifically, sunken warships, which are prized for their scrap metal value. Indonesian authorities now believe that they have caught one of the perpetrators: they allege that the 8,000 gt Chinese grab dredger Chuan Hong 68 was responsible for illegally scavenging the wrecks of the pre-WWII Japanese destroyer Sagiri, plus the passenger vessels Hiyoshi Maru and Katori Maru, the steamship Igara and the tanker Seven Skies.

It is the second time that maritime authorities have caught the Chuan Hong 68 in as many months. On April 20, the Indonesian Navy detained her in the waters off Natuna in the Riau Islands on the suspicion that she was engaged in illegal dredging. She escaped on April 22 and fled to Malaysia, where she was detained once again by the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency.

Source: Indonesia Captures Maritime Grave Robbers

See also:
Indonesia seeks Interpol’s help to find dredger (Straits Times, 23 April 2017)
The Thieves Who Steal Sunken Warships, Right Down to the Bolts (Outside Online, 02 May 2017)
Indonesia Detains Chinese-flagged Dredger for Looting Sunken Treasure (Netral, 07 May 2017)

[Talk] Green, Blue, and White: The Tang Shipwreck Ceramic and Precious Metal Cargo and Global Trade in Medieval Asia

In conjunction with the Belitung Shipwreck exhibition at the Asia Society in New York, John Guy will be giving a lecture on 22 May which will also be broadcast live on the web.

Scholar and curator John Guy explores the unique insights that shipwreck archaeology can bring to our understanding of historical trade and exchange in ancient Asia.

Source: Green, Blue, and White: The Tang Shipwreck Ceramic and Precious Metal Cargo and Global Trade in Medieval Asia | New York | Asia Society

WWII-era shipwreck found off Koh Rong

A suspected World War II Japanese shipwreck was discovered in Cambodian waters.


A group of six divers led by The Dive Shop Cambodia owner Dennis Funke have discovered what they believe is the wreckage of a Japanese merchant vessel sunk by a US Navy submarine during World War II. The cargo ship is suspected to be the steam-powered Burma Maru, and was discovered on Tuesday last week over the course of a two-day dive. The find was the result of nearly five years of research.

Source: WWII-era shipwreck found off Koh Rong, National, Phnom Penh Post

Shipwreck found in 2014 could be HMS Tamar: preliminary report

Find in Hong Kong waters thought to be scuttled British ship from World War II.


A large metal object that was found in 2014 in the seabed near the Wan Chai coastline, along with other stuff that was discovered later, is very likely the wreck of HMS Tamar, a famous British troop carrier from World War II, a preliminary archaeological assessment report says.  According to a 41-page report that was…

Source: Shipwreck found in 2014 could be HMS Tamar: preliminary report

Ghost ships: why are World War II naval wrecks vanishing in Indonesia?

Natali Pearson discusses the recent cases of underwater looting of World War II shipwrecks in Indonesia

Sunken World War II warships, the final resting place for thousands of sailors, have been disappearing in Indonesia. But so far there’s been little action taken to ensure their protection.

Source: Ghost ships: why are World War II naval wrecks vanishing in Indonesia?