Shipwreck yields treasures dating from 14th century
Experts have confirmed that relics retrieved from a shipwreck in the
central province of Quang Ngai date back to the 14th century,
making them among the oldest underwater antiques Vietnam has ever
The objects found on the seabed in Binh
Chau commune, Binh Son district, consist of numerous bowls, incense
burners and ceramics. Their conditions vary, but many feature
"beautiful" enamel and "abundant" decorative patterns.
After examining the objects, archaeologists concluded the ceramic wares
came from 14th century China in the Yuan dynasty (1279-1368).
Nguyen Dinh Chien, deputy director of the Vietnam National Museum of
History, noted that the enamel and decorative patterns showed the
objects were produced late in the Yuan dynasty, making them older than
several other recent finds.
Antiques retrieved from five earlier wrecks found nearby were mostly of the 15th century, he said.
According to researcher Doan Ngoc Khoi, deputy director of the Quang
Ngai History Museum, the area was on a sea trade route hundreds of years
ago, which many Chinese ships would pass to reach the Indian Ocean.
The latest ship was actually discovered accidentally by local
fishermen, who then stole various objects from the wreck to sell.
The objects were then seized by local authorities, who brought in a team of archaeologists.
Among the objects found, a block of 11 ceramic sinks has proved to be
of particular interest. Experts believe the sinks are stuck to one
another due to enamel burning at high temperatures.
The stuck sinks showed that the ship might have caught fire or exploded
before being wrecked, sharing a similar fate with the five earlier
The objects were found deep under
the sand of seabed and experts claim that the cracks on them are fairly
new. They believe that the whole body of the wreck is intact under the
sand and that surfacing the ship would offer a unique opportunity to
study the wood material and ship-building techniques of the time.
The objects are now stored at Quang Ngai History Museum for further research.-VNA