Investigation begins on two ancient shipwrecks in South China Sea

(Xinhua) 14:29, May 21, 2023

HAIKOU, May 21 (Xinhua) -- An archaeological investigation on two ancient shipwrecks discovered in the South China Sea was launched on Saturday, opening a new chapter of China's deep-sea archaeology, according to a press conference held Sunday in Sanya, south China's Hainan Province.

During the first archaeological survey of the No.1 shipwreck, located near the northwest continental slope of the South China Sea, researchers successfully established a permanent underwater mapping foundation in the southwest corner of the shipwreck site. The preliminary search and investigation as well as image recording were also carried out, according to the National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA).

In October 2022, two ancient shipwrecks were discovered at an underwater depth of about 1,500 meters near the northwest continental slope of the South China Sea. One mainly consists of porcelain relics, estimated to contain more than 100,000 pieces dating back to the reign of Emperor Zhengde of the Ming Dynasty (1506-1521).

The other, No.2 shipwreck, mainly contains a large number of wood logs. Through a preliminary study, it was determined that the ship in question was loaded with cargo and had sailed from overseas to ancient China. It dates back to the reign of Emperor Hongzhi of the Ming Dynasty (1488-1505).

With the approval of NCHA, joint efforts between research institutes and a local museum will be made to carry out further archaeological investigations involving the two shipwrecks in three phases for about a year. 

(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Kou Jie)


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