Project to boost preservation of salvaged ancient vessel

BEIJING: A project to protect Nanhai No 1, a sunken cargo ship from the Song Dynasty (960-1279), has shifted to a new stage of comprehensive protection, research, utilization, exhibition and academic exchange.
Archaeological excavation over the past few years has followed the principle of overall salvage, on-site protection and display, creating a precedent for underwater archaeology, according to the National Cultural Heritage Administration.
The ancient wooden ship sank while transporting Chinese porcelain. It was salvaged in the South China Sea in 2007 and is currently preserved at the Maritime Silk Road Museum on Hailing Island in Yangjiang, Guangdong province.
Data from the heritage authority shows that more than 180,000 cultural relics have been unearthed from the sunken ship. The relics are of great significance for studying the history of ancient shipbuilding, ceramics, shipping and trading in China and Asia. According to a plan approved by the heritage authority, the retaining structures around the ship for more than 10 years will be removed in 2024, after completion of the current long-term supporting construction. “Removal of the caissons will allow the public to get a closer view of the ship from a better perspective,” said Wang Damin, deputy director of the archaeological research center of the National Cultural Heritage Administration. –The Daily Mail-China Daily news exchange item