Sunday, January 08, 2006


Chinese archaeologists to rescue ship from watery grave


ABC News
January 04, 2006

Chinese scientists are about to embark on a complex operation to salvage a merchant ship that sank more than 800 years ago while plying the so-called "Marine Silk Road".

The 25-metre ship, named Nanhai Number 1, will be rescued from its watery grave in the South China Sea 37 kilometres from the south coast of Guangdong province, the Beijing Morning Post reports.

The archaeologists plan to raise the vessel without cutting it into pieces first.

It is a decision that will make the operation immensely more difficult, but at the same time improve the prospects of the ship, preserving its original look.

To this end, a special salvaging ship is being built and is scheduled to be completed in May.

Even before success of the salvaging project is ensured, officials in Guangdong's Yangjiang city have begun building a museum to house the ship.

The ship will eventually be moved to a glass walled exhibition hall filled with sea water, imitating the undersea environment that has been its home for eight centuries.

The "Marine Silk Road" linked China with India, the Middle East and even Africa in ancient times.


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