Over 900 pieces of relics retrieved from shipwrecks in South China Sea

relic found in South China Sea
Photo credit: Xinhua

 More than 900 pieces of cultural relics have been retrieved from two ancient shipwrecks discovered in the South China Sea, the National Cultural Heritage Administration (NCHA) said Thursday, Xinhua reports. 

The excavation, conducted from 2023 to 2024, was a joint effort by research institutes and a local museum, according to a press briefing held in south China's Hainan Province.

A total of 890 pieces of relics were excavated from the No. 1 shipwreck, including porcelain and pottery items, as well as copper coins. From the No. 2 shipwreck, 38 ancient artifacts were retrieved, including lumber, porcelain and pottery products, turban shells, and deer antlers.

Relics found in South China Sea
Photo credit: Xinhua

In October 2022, the two ancient shipwrecks from the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) were discovered at a depth of about 1,500 meters near the northwest continental slope of the South China Sea.

The discovery provides evidence that Chinese ancestors developed, utilized and traveled to and from the South China Sea, with the two shipwrecks serving as important witnesses to trade and cultural exchanges along the ancient Maritime Silk Road, said Guan Qiang, deputy head of the NCHA.

Relics found in South China Sea
Photo credit: Xinhua

This deep-sea archaeological investigation, integrating China's deep-sea science and technology, and underwater archaeology, marks the country's achievement of a world-class level in deep-sea archaeology, according to Guan.

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