A ninth-century AD Arab or Indian shipwreck in Indonesia: First evidence for direct trade with China

Authors
Citation
M. Flecker, A ninth-century AD Arab or Indian shipwreck in Indonesia: First evidence for direct trade with China, WORLD ARCHA, 32(3), 2001, pp. 335-354
Citations number
26
Language
INGLESE
art.tipo
Article
Categorie Soggetti
Archeology
Journal title
WORLD ARCHAEOLOGY
ISSN journal
0043-8243 → ACNP
Volume
32
Issue
3
Year of publication
2001
Pages
335 - 354
Database
ISI
SICI code
0043-8243(200102)32:3<335:ANAAOI>2.0.ZU;2-V
Abstract
A well-preserved ninth-century AD shipwreck was excavated in 1998-9 off the Indonesian island of Belitung between Sumatra and Borneo. The principal fe atures of the wreck include planks joined by stitching with wadding inside and outside the hull, a sharp bow with little rake, stitched-in frames, thr ough-beams stitched to the hull, removable ceiling timbers, a keelson and s tringers, and a composite iron and wood anchor. Ethnographic and iconograph ic evidence suggests that these are the features of ancient Indian and Arab vessels, an origin which is strongly supported by the timber species ident ified in the wreck. The cargo consisted almost entirely of Chinese ceramics , mostly from the Changsha kilns. This is the first clear archaeological ev idence to support historical records which imply that there was direct trad e between the western Indian Ocean and China during the later part of the f irst millennium AD.