According to Chinese archaeologists, the total value of the treasures found is about 500 billion yuan.
In mid-October 2010, many people flocked to the area of Thanh Boi island in Zhangpu district, Zhangzhou city, Fujian province, China. This stream of people is so large that it forms a long line, making tourists from all over come here very curious. They thought there was something big happening there, but after asking “insiders” they found out that these people were actually ” treasure hunting “.
It turns out that a few days ago, someone claimed to have discovered a treasure at the bottom of the sea near Thanh Boi island. Many people also claim that they encountered a lot of treasure there and exchanged a lot of money. This information attracts a lot of people so whenever they have time they go there to try their luck.
Treasure appears after the storm
According to Toutiao, the reason for the influx of people looking for this treasure stems from Typhoon Megi that appeared that year. This super storm caused many ships at sea to sink to the bottom of the sea, causing heavy damage to people and property. Many fishermen lost their fishing equipment, so they had to hire local underwater rescue workers to go out to sea to salvage some remaining tools. However, what was surprising was that the rescue workers did not find any of the fishermen’s belongings but instead discovered a large number of ancient porcelain items on the seabed.
It is said that these undersea artifacts have an “origin” from China’s once famous maritime Silk Road. Many cases of sinking antiques and precious cultural relics have occurred in this sea. When the storm hit, the sea was violently rough, carrying many antiques closer to shore. Some traders specializing in hunting antiques often come to fishermen to inquire. They will directly bid to buy if they come across precious items. There are also antique smugglers who buy a few sets of diving equipment and then voluntarily go into the water to search for antiques. According to local people, there was once a group of 7 people who picked up 722 treasures from the bottom of the sea. Some celadon bowls were resold for 50 million yuan. Local fishermen learned that someone had sneaked to the bottom of the sea to steal a large number of cultural relics, so they reported the incident to the local police. A few days later, this group of suspects was arrested, and the cultural relics they sold were also successfully recovered.
The police also quickly reported the news of antiquities appearing on the seabed near Chuong Pho district to relevant departments. An underwater archaeological team immediately moved to the above sea area to conduct exploration. According to recorded information, on the seabed in the above area there is a large amount of celadon, most of the exposed surface has been quite damaged.
Experts also discovered that right below this large volume of celadon there is an ancient shipwreck, of no small scale. However, China has a plan to not conduct excavations until the time it is necessary to rescue so that the original environment of ancient cultural relics is not disturbed. Therefore, after the specific location of the sunken ancient ship was discovered in 2011, the Chinese Cultural Relics Protection Administration did not conduct archeology or research on the sunken ancient ship, but only arranged human resources. occasional patrolling of the surrounding area to prevent criminals from stealing antiquities.
However, the fact that someone was patrolling the area made the criminals even more certain that there was valuable treasure. Therefore, many missions to sneak down to the bottom of the sea and steal treasure happened. In 2020 alone, local police solved two cases of reselling cultural relics and arrested two gangs of thieves. According to the criminals, what they want is the ship that sank near Chuong Pho Island. A total of more than 1,500 cultural relics were salvaged, each of which is an invaluable asset to the nation.
The work of protecting 500 billion yuan treasure
Feeling the serious nature of the incident, the Chinese Cultural Relics Protection Department immediately decided to conduct archaeological activities here to research and preserve national treasures. Fortunately, many antiques were buried under a thick layer of mud and “escaped” from the hands of criminals. According to archaeologists, the amount of porcelain antiques on this sunken ship originated from the Yuan Dynasty, most of which were celadon and were made from the Long Tuyen Kiln.
Based on the information collected, archaeologists believe that this sunken ancient ship had 7 cabins, each cabin was filled with precious celadon from the Long Tuyen kiln – one of the major ceramic production kilns during the dynasty. Original. The auction price of Longquan kiln celadon ceramics from the Song and Yuan dynasties can reach tens of millions of yuan/item. Based on the number of Longquan kiln celadon ceramics found, experts estimate the overall value of these treasures is about 500 billion yuan.
To ensure that these cultural relics were kept intact, archaeologists took out each precious porcelain item in the cabin one by one and brought it onto the archaeological ship for cleaning. The amount of underwater porcelain is very large, and the workload of archaeologists is even greater because research work underwater is often more difficult and labor-intensive than archaeological work on land.
As of October 23, 2022, the first underwater archaeological work on the Yuan Dynasty shipwreck in Zhangzhou ended. Archaeologists have recovered a total of more than 1,700 porcelain items from the seabed. After cleaning and restoration, they were taken straight to Zhangzhou Museum for people to visit.
The celadon vessels and Yuan Dynasty merchant ships sunk at the bottom of the sea seem to bring archaeologists back to the trading port where a large number of merchants and trading ships continuously docked more than 700 years ago. This is also historical proof of how prosperous China’s Maritime Silk Road was more than 700 years ago.