800 Year Old Shipwreck Discovery Reveals ‘Made In China’ Label Among Other Cargo

Source: Phys.org/Field Museum

Photo: Ishan/seefromthesky/Unsplash

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Centuries ago, a ship sank in the Java Sea off the coast of Indonesia. The wooden hull disintegrated over time, leaving only a treasure trove of cargo. The ship had been carrying thousands of ceramics and luxury goods for trade, and they remained on the ocean floor until the 1980s when the wreck was discovered by fishermen. In the years since, archaeologists have been studying artifacts retrieved from the shipwreck to piece together where the ship was from and when it departed. The equivalent of a “Made in China” label on a piece of pottery helped archaeologists reevaluate when the ship went down and how it fits in with China’s history.

“Initial investigations in the 1990s dated the shipwreck to the mid- to late 13th century, but we’ve found evidence that it’s probably a century older than that,” says Lisa Niziolek, an archaeologist at the Field Museum in Chicago and lead author of the study in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

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Photo: Ishan/seefromthesky/Unsplash

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