Nanhai No. 1 reveals details of the maritime silk route

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A feature on the ongoing excavation of the Nanhai No. 1, a shipwreck discovered off the coast of Guangdong province in China.

Feature: Ancient shipwreck unlocks secrets of Maritime Silk Road
Xinhua, 02 Feb 2016

The Maritime Silk Road, like the ancient Silk Road, was not only a route of trade, but of communication among civilizations.

“Coastal Guangdong holds the DNA of China’s external exchanges and trade,” says Long Jiayou, director with the Guangdong Provincial Cultural Heritage Bureau.

Guangdong had the longest history and most external associations of the Chinese regions on the route.

“Guangdong is also on the route of China’s Belt and Road initiative with its long history and massive overseas trade volume,” says Long.

The Belt and Road Initiative aims to boost connectivity and common development along the ancient land and maritime Silk Roads.

The excavation of the Nanhai No. 1 adds historic significance.

“It has brought China new concepts, innovative methods and technologies in underwater archeology. Moreover, it is a crucial model for the protection of relics along the Maritime Silk Road,” says Long.

Full story here.

14,000 artefacts recovered from Nanhai No. 1

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Chinese archaeologists report that over 14,00 artefacts have so far been recovered from the Nanhai No. 1, a Song Dynasty era ship that was recovered from the South China Sea.

Hoard of relics salvaged from ancient Chinese ship
Business Standard, 10 January 2016

Ancient Chinese ship yields hoards of relics
The Hindu, 10 January 2016

China: 14,000 gold, silver and copper relics recovered from 800-year-old shipwreck
International Business Times, 11 January 2016

14,000 relics recovered from ancient Chinese ship
CNTV.cn, 12 January 2016

More than 14,000 relics have been retrieved from an ancient cargo ship after it was salvaged from a depth of 30 metres below the surface of the South China Sea in late 2007, Chinese archaeologists said on Saturday.

Most of the relics are porcelain products, such as pots, bottles, bowls and plates produced by then famous kilns in places now known as Jiangxi, Fujian and Zhejiang, said Liu Chengji, deputy head of the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, Xinhua reported.

As of January 5, archaeologists have also excavated hundreds of gold, silver and copper relics and about 17,000 copper coins.

Full story here.

Nanhai No. 1 yields over 900 porcelain pieces

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Finds from Nanhai No. 1. Source: ECNS 20150215

More images of the finds from the Nanhai No. 1 wreck have been recovered in the ongoing investigation of the wreck.

Finds from Nanhai No. 1. Source: ECNS 20150215

Finds from Nanhai No. 1. Source: ECNS 20150215

900 porcelain pieces found from shipwreck Nanhai No. 1
ECNS, 15 February 2015

Photo taken on Feb 3, 2015 shows a kettle uncovered from the wrecked ship Nanhai No. 1 at the Maritime Silk Road Museum in Hailing island of Yangjiang, South China’s Guangdong province. The 30-meter-long merchant vessel, built during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), sank off the coast of Guangdong province about 800 years ago. More than 900 pieces of porcelain, about 120 gold items and thousands of silver coins have been uncovered since the excavation began, according to Sun Jian, technical director of the Underwater Cultural Heritage Protection Center of the State Administration of Cultural Heritage. The discovered objects primarily are porcelain from Jingdezhen kiln in Jiangxi province, Dehua kiln in Fujian province and Longquan kiln in Zhejiang province.

More images here.

A look at the finds from Nanhai No. 1

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Finds from Nanhai No. 1. Source: CRI English 20150131

Some images from the Nanhai No. 1 wreck recovered from the South China Sea.

Finds from Nanhai No. 1. Source: CRI English 20150131

Finds from Nanhai No. 1. Source: CRI English 20150131

Over 60,000 Song Porcelains Discovered in S.China Sea
CRI English.com, 31 January 2015

Photo taken on Jan. 28, 2015 shows artifacts discovered on the Nanhai (South China Sea) No. 1 ship at the “Crystal Palace” at the Marine Silk Road Museum in Yangjiang, south China’s Guangdong Province. After seven years of excavation, more than 60,000 porcelain artifacts from the Song Dynasty (960-1279) have been discovered on the ship, which had lain undersea for more than 800 years and was put into protection in the Marine Silk Road Museum after its salvage in 2007. [Photo: Xinhua/Liu Dawei]

More images here.

Second excavation of Nanhai No. 1 to commence

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Chinese archaeologists will begin their second excavation of the Nanhai No. 1 at the Maritime Silk Road Museum to determine, basically, which end of the wreck is which. Readers may recall that the entire wreck, including the seabed was transported from under the water into containment at the museum, so visitors will actually be able to observe archaeologists working on the wreck.

Second excavation of sunken vessel ‘Nanhai No. 1’ begins
People’s Daily, 22 March 2011
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China's ventures into its underwater past

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Maritime trade between China and the rest of the world (often passing through Southeast Asia) has been around for nearly 2,000 years, but it has only been in the recent past that China has built up the capability to undertake archaeological investigations underwater.

The ‘Other’ Silk Road: China Peers Into Maritime Past
NPR, 02 July 2010
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Maritime museum allows archaeologists to work and visitors to admire at the same time

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The Beijing Review has an article about the ongoing excavations at the Nanhai No. 1 wreck, recovered off the coast of China’s Guangdong province. The amazing aspect of this shipwreck recovery is that the entire shipwreck, silt and all, was relocated to a purpose-built museum which allows archaeologists to work on recovering finds and visitors to watch at the same time.

Treasures From a Watery Grave
Beijing Review, 22 October 2009
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Porcelain artefacts recovered from South China Sea shipwreck

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More than 200 porcelain pieces are recovered from the Nanhai 1 shipwreck, which was recovered off the coast of the Chinese city of Yangjiang and currently housed – still submerged – in the Maritime Silk Road Museum.

Artifacts salvaged from Nanhai 1
People’s Daily Online, 28 September 2009
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Chinese archaeologists get green light to salvage more from 800-year-old wreck

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Chinese archaeologists receive approval to search an 800-year-old shipwreck, the Nanhai No. 1, for more artifacts. The wreck is currently in a sealed pool in the Marine Silk Road Museum at China’s Guangdong Province. Artifacts already recovered from the shipwreck show that China was taking part in international trade with the other side of the old world.

Ancient shipwreck to be trawled for treasures
China Daily, 22 June 2009
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13th century Shipwreck recovered from the South China Sea

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A 13th century shipwreck laden with Song Dynasty porcelain was recovered from the depths of the South China Sea last week – ships like these were common in the international trade that plied the maritime silk route between China and West Asia, and they all moved through Southeast Asia.

Sunken Merchant Boat Raised from the Sea
Xinhua, 22 Dec 2007

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