Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Korean octopus is a sucker for antiques

June 06, 2007

Seoul - A South Korean fisherman has reportedly discovered a precious haul of ancient pottery - thanks to an octopus which attached its suckers to a plate.

Kim Yong-Chul caught more than he bargained for when he went fishing on May 18, according to the website of the Chosun Ilbo newspaper seen on Wednesday.

Shards of ancient celadon pottery were attached to the suckers of several webfoot octopuses which he netted. One was stuck to a complete plate dating back to the Koryo Dynasty, which ruled the peninsula from 916 to 1392.

Kim, 58, reported the discovery to the National Maritime Museum. In an urgent exploration, the museum found 30 12th-century bowls and plates from the seabed off Taean, 90 kilometres southwest of Seoul.

"It seems that a ship carrying Koryo pottery in the 12th century was wrecked there," Mun Hwan-Seok, a museum official, was quoted as saying.

"The pottery we discovered is not of the highest quality made for royals but is seen as precious relics showing the beauty of Koryo pottery."

The museum will reward Kim after launching a full recovery next month.

Several shipwrecks filled with relics including ancient pottery have been found along the west coast, where many kilns were established in the Koryo era.


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