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Race for Hong Kong's oldest sunken treasure

An artefact that has been hailed as Hong Kong’s oldest sunken treasure has not been fished out. The find, dating back to the Song Dynasty, still rests on the seabed. The archaeologists’ plans were thwarted by bad weather, which meant they will have to hold off until next year with their next attempt. The reason
Published: December 13, 2015 - 19:46
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 12:26
Race for Hong Kong’s oldest sunken treasure

An artefact that has been hailed as Hong Kong’s oldest sunken treasure has not been fished out. The find, dating back to the Song Dynasty, still rests on the seabed. The archaeologists’ plans were thwarted by bad weather, which meant they will have to hold off until next year with their next attempt.

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The reason for all the fuss and this Song Dynasty treasure is an anchor that experts believe is over 1,000 years old. The find was made in the waters surrounding the Sai Kung Peninsula. The initial plan was to take the object out of the water and hand it over to the Hong Kong Maritime Museum for further research. Unfortunately, the capricious weather has meant that the whole operation will only be able to resume in early 2016.

“I’m obviously irritated by the situation, but unfortunately weather plays a key role in these activities and you have to accept that and get on with it,” – explains Bill Jeffery, the Australian archaeologist who is leading the entire anchor excavation project.

It all started last year when four members of the Hong Kong Underwater Heritage Group, while searching for ceramics, found a granite object weighing about 80 kg underwater.

“The object stood out and was striking because of its very unusual shape. This is a very significant discovery. What I saw on the bottom coincides with the shape of Song Dynasty anchors I had seen before in the museum.” – Jeffery explains.

A similar discovery was made in 2007, during the exploration of the Nanhai wreck discovered at the mouth of the Pearl River. It was there that an important trade route ran, so the presence of similar finds is not surprising.

In the region, the work of underwater archaeologists is being intensified, with new interesting sites being discovered every now and then. Due to the heavy traffic of merchant vessels in the past, researchers assume that the findings so far are just the tip of the iceberg.

Source: scmp.com

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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