Relics salvaged from ancient Chinese ship

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Beijing, Jan 10 (IANS) More than 14,000 relics have been retrieved from an ancient cargo ship after it was salvaged from a depth of 30 meters below the surface of the South China Sea, Chinese archaeologists have said.

Most of the relics were porcelain products such as pots, bottles, bowls and plates produced by then famous kilns in places now known as Jiangxi, Fujian and Zhejiang, reported Xinhua news agency.

As of January 5, archaeologists have also excavated hundreds of gold, silver and copper relics and about 17,000 copper coins.

“The cargo composition of the vessel is clearer and the diversity is rich,” said said Liu Chengji, deputy head of the Guangdong Provincial Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.

The well-preserved ship dates back to the early Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279). The remains were about 22 meters long and nine meters wide. It was named “Nanhai No. 1” meaning “South China Sea No. 1”.

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According to Liu, some relics had the names of shops and places, which he believed reflected the developed commercial economy during the dynasty.

“Some personal belongings, such as bracelets, finger rings and necklaces, were also discovered. These items showed the vessel had a certain number of merchants and passengers aboard,” said an another expert.

The excavation inside the vessel will be completed in 2016.

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