via New Straits Times, 24 November 2023: Two shipwrecks found in the South China Sea, dating back to the Ming Dynasty, provide significant insights into commercial and cultural exchanges along the ancient Maritime Silk Road. The underwater archaeological explorations, a collaborative effort led by various Chinese institutions, uncovered nearly 600 artifacts, including pottery and porcelain from Jingdezhen. These findings, enhanced by advanced techniques like 3D photography and laser scanning, highlight the prosperity of private maritime trade during the Ming Dynasty and contribute to understanding China’s historical maritime civilization and porcelain-making history.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have found two shipwrecks deep in the South China Sea that serve as a witness to commercial and cultural exchanges along the ancient Maritime Silk Road.
The findings were announced by the National Cultural Heritage Administration in Beijing in October.
The underwater archaeological explorations were carried out in September and October by the administration’s National Centre for Archaeology, the Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the China (Hainan) Museum of the South China Sea.
Pottery, porcelain and ironware have been found in the shipwrecks, and nearly 600 artefacts have been recovered, most of them produced in kilns in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi province, popularly known as China’s porcelain capital.