Antiques to be salvaged from sunken Chinese ship

Beijing, Aug 20 (TruthDive): Salvage operations started on an ancient ship, which belonged to Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) ship that sank 500 years ago on Thursday. The ancient merchant vessel sank off the coast of southeast China’s Guangdong province.

The merchant ship was loaded with porcelain, copper coins and other rare antiques. The ship is said to have been loaded for the Philippines and Malaysia, Cui said. Guangdong was a major centre for sea trade in ancient China.

Local fishermen found the wrecked ship, 25 metres long and seven metres wide, in May 2007. It was buried in silt 27 metres underwater and about 11 km from the coast. Experts said the salvaged antiques from the Nan’ao-1 provide sufficient evidence that the “Maritime Silk Road” once existed in the South China Sea. It was named “Nanhai No.1,” meaning South China Sea No.1.

Experts spent three years planning the salvage, which was considered to be one of the world’s huge underwater archaeology.

The salvage operation started in June. The operation was suspended due to the effects of typhoon Kai-Tak, which made landfall in the coastal area of Guangdong at noon on Friday.

This phase of underwater archaeological work on Nan’ao-1 will be finished by the end of September, head of the team of archaeologists Cui Yong told Xinhua news agency.

A specially planned steel structure was lowered into the sea at about 12 a.m. near Yangjiang, in south China’s Guangdong Province.

More than 30,000 pieces of antiques are expected to be salvaged from the ancient ship. Huang Yingtao, director of the museum said about 10,000 pieces of newly salvaged antiques will be exhibited in the Nan’ao Museum in Shantou after the conclusion of an underwater archaeological mission.

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