First, I apologize up front and without reservations for the cheap Calgon shot in the title. I just couldn’t help myself.
Having said that, Chinese archaeologist raised a 100 foot 13th century shipwreck packed with porcelain and other goodies from the South China Sea last Saturday. It was delivered to its new watery home, a seawater pool in the Crystal Palace at the Marine Silk Road Museum in Yangjiang, yesterday.
As many as 6,000 artefacts have already been retrieved from the 13th Century vessel, mostly bluish white porcelain, as well as personal items from crew members, including gold belt buckles and silver rings.
A further 70,000 artefacts are believed to be still on board, many still in their original packing cases.
This is a major deal not only because the find is extraordinary, but also because this is China’s first major foray into underwater archaeology and preservation, and they’re going full guns.
The salvage team began building a massive steel cage around the 30m (98ft)-long vessel in May in order to raise it and the surrounding silt.
The cage was made up of 36 steel beams, each weighing around 5 tons. Together with its contents, the cage weighed more than 3,000 tons. […]
The ship will be stored underwater in a massive tank, in which the water temperature, pressure and other conditions will be identical to where it lay on the seabed, allowing visitors to watch as archaeologists uncover its secrets.
China has invested about $40m in this project, in the hope of reclaiming a part of the country’s history, and this time ensuring it stays in Chinese hands.