Friday, November 02, 2007

 

Ancient ship in seabed for 800 years to be lifted in China

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The Economic Times
November 02, 2007


BEIJING: An ancient ship in China, lying on the sea bed for more than 800 years, is just weeks away to be lifted out of the water after months of salvage operation that took three years for planning.

Sunken cargo vessel the Nanhai No.1 with an estimated 80,000 cultural relics, including porcelain, gold artifacts, copper coins, jewelry and copper mirrors from the Southern Song Dynasty (1127 to 1279 AD), is under the sea, 30 nautical miles west of Hailing island near Yangjiang city.

Already, 6,000 items have been salvaged, the official media reported.

"Salvage work is nearing end and the relics we are recovering are more varied and exciting than we expected," Jing Lihu, Deputy Director of the Guangdong Culture Department was quoted as saying in a radio programme by 'China Daily'.

Typhoons delayed the salvage work which began in May after three years of planning.

The 30-m-long ship, found in 1987 by the Guanzhou salvage bureau and a British underwater company, is the first ancient vessel to have been discovered on the "Marine Silk Road" in the South China Sea and will be taken out of the water by the year end.

It was also the largest Song Dynasty cargo ship ever discovered in China, the newspaper said.
Yangjiang is building a museum to house its treasure trove.


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