Chinese archaeologists to search for Cheng Ho's fleet in Africa

Agencies in China and Kenya penned an agreement last month to investigate the cultural links between China and Kenya in Kenya’s Lamu Archpelago, which include an exploration of sunken ships from Admiral Cheng Ho’s (Zheng He) treasure fleet.

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Chinese experts to explore sunken ships from Cheng Ho’s fleet in Africa
People’s Daily Online, 24 February 2010

The National Museum of China, Peking University’s School of Archaeology and Museology, as well as the Kenya National Museum jointly signed an agreement February 23, under which, Chinese and Kenyan experts will investigate and excavate underwater and onshore cultural relics in Kenya’s Lamu Archipelago, in a bid to further solve relevant historical mysteries relating to China-Africa cultural and economic exchange in ancient times. In addition, some Chinese experts will visit Kenya to explore the sunken ships from Cheng Ho’s fleet.

Zhao Hui, director of Peking University’s School of Archaeology and Museology, said that this project has witnessed 5 years of investigations, argumentations and preparations and it involves investigating, exploring and excavating the underwater cultural relics in and around the Lamu Archipelago, unearthing ancient ruins in and around Malindi City, and researching Chinese cultural relics unearthed in Kenya’s coastal areas.

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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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