1000-year-old Indonesian shipwreck treasure for sale

Treasure from 1000-year-old shipwreckA mind-bogglingly huge treasure trove found on a 1000-year-old shipwreck by Indonesian fishermen is going on sale in Jakarta Wednesday. It’s the biggest treasure ever found in Asia, and comparable to the most valuable shipwreck ever found period, the Atocha, an early 17th century Spanish vessel found off the Florida coast.

On sale will be 271,000 individual pieces, including precious gems, Iranian glassware and Imperial Chinese porcelain all dating back to the first millennium A.D. The estimated value of the auction is a staggering 80 million dollars.

The pieces include the largest known vase from the Liao Dynasty (907-1125) and famous Yue Mise wares from the Five Dynasties (907-960), with the green colouring exclusive to the emperor.

Around 11,000 pearls, 4,000 rubies, 400 dark red sapphires and more than 2,200 garnets were also pulled from the depths by [Belgian treasure-hunter Luc] Heymans and his team of international divers.

Heymans holding Liao Dynasty vase, other Imperial porcelain in the backgroundIt took 22,000 dives to bring it all to shore. There was a great deal of trade between Arabia, India, Java and Sumatra back then, but even so, whoever was on that ship must have been a big shot. Heymans speculates that all the Imperial porcelain suggests there was an ambassador on board. There was so much of it that when he first dove to the site, all he could see was a mountain of porcelain, no wood from the ship structure at all.

Recovering the treasure turned out to be the least of Heymans’ difficulties. He had arranged permits for the excavation and retrieval of the shipwreck, but the Indonesian police still arrested two of the divers. They stayed in jail for a month while Heymans worked out the problem. Meanwhile, other treasure-hunters tried to poach the find, the Indonesian navy got all up in his grill and the government spent a couple of years drafting new legislation to deal with the discovery.

Finally he cut a deal: the Indonesian government declared some of the treasure national heritage and therefore not salable, and it gets 50% of the sale proceeds from the rest of the treasure. So Heymans and his backers will have to settle for a mere $40 million at minimum.

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14 Comments »

Comment by mrVolkodlak
2010-05-03 09:12:20

It’s really great treasure. Very rare and expensive purchase.

Comment by livius drusus
2010-05-03 11:06:33

Indeed it is. It’s also a testament to Indonesia’s long history of vibrant trade at a time when Europe was more inwardly-focused.

 
 
Comment by Bingley
2010-05-04 23:15:59

Noel Tan of SEAArch sent me this follow up link.

Apparently no-one wants to bid. Put off by the US$16 million deposit, perhaps.

Comment by livius drusus
2010-05-04 23:22:49

Hot damn, I didn’t see that coming. :eek:

 
 
Comment by joe
2011-05-04 14:46:47

Hello sir I have got treasure to sell do you interest.

 
Comment by james
2011-12-12 20:14:53

Hi Joe

Is there anything interesting still on offer

Regards
james

 
Comment by real man
2012-01-14 17:04:37

How interested in the Treasure u r?
I have something rare.

Comment by livius drusus
2012-01-14 17:34:55

I’m not at all interested in buying stolen/looted/illegal ancient artifacts. If you had read this entry you’d know that. Go peddle your bloody lucre elsewhere.

 
 
Comment by real man
2012-01-20 16:20:11

It is not stolen item dear and you never seen it to judged on it. It is your right to rejected it but be polite with people and if you were front of my face you would not say that because I am 2.2 m and been wrestler for 15 years ,so I would easily smash your damn face. Shame on you it is obviously your saying is showing that you are a weak person. WTF I’m rich already stupid.

piss of

Comment by livius drusus
2012-01-20 17:09:41

You claimed to have pieces from the treasure written about in this article. If that’s true, then you’re no better than a common thief in my eyes and I would gladly tell you so to your face. In my experience, people who go around loudly proclaiming their big tough manliness complete with threats of violence are inevitably the most craven cowards when push comes to shove.

 
 
Comment by real man
2012-01-20 17:28:44

You started it mate what the hail you are talking about. you should say sorry dude I was wrong and I was disrespected. I told you ,you are a stupid and you are keep being an idiot. I had some treasure that I sold round 10 Million Dollar in USA and I just care about my business you were right I did not read the entry because at that time I was extremely busy with other things. I do not know why you are keep blaming me. Ill say it again shame on you and you are stupiddddddddddddddd.

BTW ILL NOT REPLY YOU BUT YOU CAN COMMENT ME AND REPLY TO YOUR SELF BECAUSE I GUESS YOUR SICKO PERSON I’M NOT FREE TO COMMENT YOU. PISS OF AGAIN

Comment by livius drusus
2012-01-21 00:25:58

Oh so you were just spamming, then? You didn’t even read the post you’re commenting on in your zeal to sell whatever it is you sell? How sad.

 
 
Comment by GOD
2012-12-23 07:43:05

In GOD We Trust

 
Comment by MiKE M
2014-04-29 15:42:35

1. Terrible grammar.
+2. Tall tales.
+3. Empty physical threats on the internet

= Obvious troll and/or spammer.

 
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