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Artifacts excavated from seabed in South China Sea

2009-09-27 09:19 BJT

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Archeologists have excavated artifacts from an ancient ship wreck in the South China Sea. The ship sank in waters near Guangdong Province, hundreds of years ago.

Archeologists have drained sea water at a specially made facility used to house the sunken ship. They have been combing through the mud all morning.

To prevent the relics from being damaged, archeologists had to measure the site in detail. After a two hour survey, the excavation began to uncover crates of ceramics, iron and bronze works.

During the Song Dynasty, a fully-loaded trade vessel sailed along the coast of Guangdong. It sank shortly after departure, 31 kilometers from the shore.

In 1987, a salvage mission composed of Chinese and British scientists, discovered the vessel's remains while searching for sunken ships belonging to the East India Company. They found over 200 ceramic items.

The Song Dynasty is famous for being the first to use gunpowder and magnetic compass, making the vessel an invaluable resource to historians and archeologists.

In 2001 and 2007, Chinese archeologists conducted two submerged missions and uncovered additional relics.

In December, 2007, the remains of the ship were moved to an underwater museum.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: