3 March 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Ming-era two shipwrecks found in South China Sea

In the South China Sea, two ancient shipwrecks that date back to the middle of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) were discovered at a depth of about 1,500 meters.

In October, a scientific research team from the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Deep-sea Science and Engineering discovered two shipwrecks on a continental slope. It’s also the first time China has discovered a large-scale ancient shipwreck in the deep sea.

The two are named by researchers as Northwest Continental Slope No 1 and No 2 Shipwrecks in South China Sea.

The research is part of a year-long mission to scientifically assess how to preserve and protect the two shipwrecks of “world-class archaeological importance”, the National Cultural Heritage Administration said, announcing the finds on Sunday.

They would also provide important clues to the maritime section of the Silk Road, the ancient trade route connecting China to other Asian countries and beyond, the officials were quoted as saying by state-run China News Service.

Photo: Weibo

The ships, which date back to the late 15th and early 16th centuries when China was ruled by the Ming dynasty, were discovered by Chinese marine researchers about 1,500 meters (4,290 feet) below the surface in the South China Sea’s northwestern region. Both were heavily laden with cargo.

The first ship contained an estimated 100,000 items, mostly porcelain. The second, slightly older than the first, was filled with timber believed to be on its way to China, according to administration officials.

Both vessels were relatively well preserved, and archaeologists were quite certain about the era they belonged to.

“The well-preserved relics are of high historical, scientific, and artistic value,” said Yan Yalin, the director of the archaeology department of the National Cultural Heritage Administration. “It can be a world-class archaeological discovery in the deep sea. The findings are key evidence of ancient  Maritime Silk Road, and is a major breakthrough study for the history of Chinese overseas trade, navigation, and porcelain,” he added. Yalin is conducting a preliminary investigation on these finds.

Among the porcelain artifacts unearthed, various types were identified, including blue-and-white porcelain, celadons, and ceramics with green glaze.

The first thorough underwater investigation of the shipwreck sites started on Saturday and is scheduled to last until June. The locations of the shipwrecks have not been made public in order to protect the artifacts.

Related Articles

Archaeologists uncovered a ‘golden tomb’ during excavations in Armenia

26 March 2023

26 March 2023

A team of archaeologists made up of Polish and Armenian scientists has discovered a “golden tomb” containing two skeletons in...

Al-Aqiser Church, Disappears in the Depths of The Iraqi Desert

10 May 2021

10 May 2021

In a country that has been devastated by successive conflicts and economic crises, Al-Aqiser, like the numerous Christian, Islamic and...

Huge Ancient Roman Public Baths in ‘Excellent’ State Discovered in Augusta Emerita

23 July 2023

23 July 2023

In Mérida, Spain, archaeologists have discovered a “massive” Roman bathing site in “excellent” condition. The discovery was found in the...

Paleontologists Unearth Dozens of Giant Dinosaur Eggs in Fossilized Nest in Spain

15 November 2021

15 November 2021

Spain was the scene of a new paleontological discovery. Paleontologists extracted 30 Titanosaurus dinosaur eggs from a two-ton rock in...

The first ivory work of art recovered from the World Heritage cave Hohle Fels was believed to be a horse – until archaeologists made a new discovery-

30 July 2023

30 July 2023

For more than 20 years, the first ivory work of art recovered from the World Heritage cave Hohle Fels was...

Huge ancient stone murals discovered in central China: “It is an important discovery that enriches and rewrites the art history of the Song Dynasty”

10 October 2022

10 October 2022

Two stone murals from the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127) have been discovered in Henan Province, central China, and are the...

Exciting discoveries at Accana Mound: 3,250-year-old seal belonging to Hittite prince and Akkadian cuneiform texts discovered

19 November 2021

19 November 2021

A 3250-year-old seal of the Hittite prince and a 3400-year-old cuneiform tablet was found in Accana Höyük (Mound) in the...

Ancient Arabic temple art depicts early camel hybrids

29 January 2022

29 January 2022

Evidence of early camel hybrids of dromedary and Bactrian camels has been uncovered by archaeologists who were working to restore...

Shackled skeleton identified as rare evidence of slavery found in Rutland

7 June 2021

7 June 2021

In Rutland, archaeologists discovered an ‘unusual’ skeleton of a Roman slave, who might have been a criminal sentenced to death....

Lead sling bullet inscribed with “Julius Caesar” name found in Spain

5 January 2024

5 January 2024

A lead sling bullet inscribed with the name of Julius Caesar and the Ibero-Roman city Ipsca has been discovered in...

In Pontefract, archaeologists have discovered Neolithic remains

18 June 2021

18 June 2021

Archaeologists working on the site of the former Carleton Furniture factory at Mill Dam Lane in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England,...

A rare Roman cornu mouthpiece found at Vindolanda

23 September 2022

23 September 2022

Just south of Hadrian’s Wall, archaeologists have discovered an extremely rare Roman cornu mouthpiece beneath the remains of the ancient...

A massive Rune stone found under a kitchen floor in Denmark declared treasure

8 June 2023

8 June 2023

A couple in Denmark discovered a massive rune stone weighing approximately 900 kilograms during a home renovation project that planned...

Ancient tombs discovered at Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral

15 March 2022

15 March 2022

Archaeologists discovered several graves and a leaden sarcophagus possibly dating from the 14th century at Paris’ Notre Dame church, France’s...

World-first recreation of ancient Egyptian garden open

20 May 2022

20 May 2022

Have you ever wondered what an ancient Egyptian garden was like?  This is your opportunity to find out! The first...