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Two centuries-old wrecks full of artifacts have been discovered in China

Published: May 31, 2023 - 13:43
Updated: July 23, 2023 - 02:17
Two centuries-old wrecks full of artifacts have been discovered in China

In the South China Sea at a depth of more than 1,500 meters, researchers have discovered two centuries-old wrecks full of artifacts.

China has reported great success for its researchers. Exploring the sites located in October 2022, the scientists came across two amazing wrecks. Both vessels were discovered on the northwestern continental slope off the coast of Sanya near Hainan Island.

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Two centuries-old wrecks full of artifacts have been discovered in China
The variety of pottery is stacked in piles that reach up to 3 meters above the deck Photo: China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration

 

The two shipwrecks are relatively well-preserved and have revealed a large number of artifacts which make it possible to determine their age. The discovery of these ships has great historical, scientific and artistic value and is not only an important archaeological discovery in China, but also in the world, said Yan Yalin, director of NCHA’s archaeology department.

 

 

Wrecks are only 10 NM apart and have caused a real sensation. All because they are the first such deep wrecks discovered in the region, in addition to being of significant historical value. As Chinese media reported, one of the wrecks is full of export porcelain artifacts, and the number of artifacts exceeds 100,000 pieces. This is mainly Ming-era ceramics, which the found vessel is simply filled to the brim with. The variety of pottery is stacked in piles that reach up to 3 meters above the deck.

 

Two centuries-old wrecks full of artifacts have been discovered in China
Both shipwrecks are onlu 10 NM apart Photo: China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration

 

The finds, which were estimated to be more than 500 years old, have been numbered 1 and 2. Wreck No. 1 is a vessel carrying the mentioned ceramics, while the slightly older wreck No. 2 is believed to have been used mainly to bring in timber from abroad.

 

Two centuries-old wrecks full of artifacts have been discovered in China
Timber from the wreck nr 2 Photo: China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration

 

Archaeologists from China’s National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA) announced their discovery on May 21, after making a first examination of both wrecks. It is worth specifying, however, that the sites were discovered by a team from the Institute of Deep-Sea Science and Engineering of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (IDSSE) last October.

Currently, about 30 experts from the institute, as well as from the NCHA National Center for Archaeology and the South China Sea Museum, are conducting research on the discovered wrecks.

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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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