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China to restart salvage of sunken ship

(Xinhua)

09:07, May 25, 2012

GUANGZHOU, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Archaeologists will restart trying to salvage what they can of Nan'ao-1, an ancient merchant vessel which sank about 500 years ago off the coast of Guangdong Province.

The salvage will restart late May in accordance with weather and sea conditions, said Cui Yong, who heads the team of archaeologists. It is planned to run for three months.

Archaeologists have previously recovered over 20,000 antique pieces, including porcelain and copper coins, and 25 cabins.

The ship sank in the "Sandianjin" waters off Nan'ao county, Shantou city in the mid or late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).

It is thought that it was heading for the Philippines and Malaysia, said Cui.

Guangdong was a major center for the sea trade in ancient China.

Local fishermen found the wreck, estimated to be about 25 meters long and seven meters wide, in May 2007. It was buried in silt 27 meters under water and about 5.6 nautical miles from Shantou city.

Experts said that the antique pieces salvaged from the Nan'ao-1 provide evidence that the "Maritime Silk Road" once existed in the South China Sea.

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