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China salvages 150 year old wooden shipwreck

Beijing, Nov 21 (EFE).- An ancient wooden shipwreck dating back to the Qing Dynasty (17th – 20th century), was salvaged from waters near the city of Shanghai on Monday.

Experts have considered it to be one of the biggest and best preserved shipwrecks found in Chinese waters till date.

The ship, which will offer an insight into naval technology used during its era, sailed under the reign of emperor Tongzhi (1862 – 1875) and sank in the estuary of river Yangtze.

Discovered in 2015 during an underwater exploration, the ship is about 38.1 meters long and 9.9 meters wide. It consists of 31 cabins and is filled with cultural relics, state news agency Xinhua reported.

Porcelain made in Jingdezhen, in China’s Jiangxi Province, famously known as China’s “porcelain capital” has been found in the wreckage.

Archaeologists believe that the study of this vessel could contribute to the analysis of ceramics and the economic history of the Qing Dynasty.

The rescue operation, broadcasted live on the state broadcaster CCTV towards its end, used an underwater imaging device for muddy water, as well as shield tunneling technology.

According to local authorities, the rest of the wreckage will soon be transferred to a dock near the Huangpu river for further preservation and archaeological research.

In recent years, China has invested a lot of resources in the recovery of shipwrecks in its water bodies, especially in the disputed South China Sea, which houses abundant historical treasures owing to the ancient Maritime Silk Road passing through it.

One of the most famous discoveries in the region was Nanhai 1, the wreckage of a merchant ship that sank during the Song Dynasty (960 – 1279). In 2007, more than 180,000 pieces of porcelain along with 181 gold ornaments and objects were recovered from Nanhai 1.

Cui Yong, who led the research team for Nanhai 1, said that these new discoveries at a depth of 3,000 meters are a milestone that place China on the same level as other countries advanced in underwater archaeology. EFE

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