China raises 800-year-old sunken ship Fri Dec 21, 10:52
BEIJING - After
800 years at the bottom of the sea, a merchant ship loaded
with porcelain and other rare antiques was raised to the
surface Friday in a specially built basket, a state news
The Nanhai No. 1, which means "South China Sea No.
1," sank off the south China coast with some 60,000
to 80,000 items on board, Xinhua News Agency reported,
citing Wu Jiancheng, head of the excavation project.
Archaeologists built a steel basket
around the 100-foot vessel, and it took about two hours
for a crane to lift the ship and surrounding silt to
the surface, Xinhua said. The basket was as large as
a basketball court and as tall as a three-story building.
Green-glazed porcelain plates and shadowy
blue porcelain items were among rare antiques found
during the initial exploration of the ship. Archaeologists
have also recovered containers made of gold and silver
as well as about 6,000 copper coins.
A salvage barge lifts a specially
designed basket containing the wreck of the 800-year-old
merchant ship 'Nanhai No. 1' from the waters off the
south China coast near Yangjiang, southern China's Guangdong
province Friday, Dec. 21, 2007. The Nanhai No. 1, which
means 'South China Sea No. 1,' sank off the south China
coast with some 60,000 to 80,000 items on board, Xinhua
News Agency reported, citing Wu Jiancheng, head of the
excavation project.(AP Photo/Color China Photo)
The ship dates from the early Southern Song
Dynasty (1127-1279). It was discovered in 1987 off the coast
near the city of Yangjiang, in Guangdong province, in more
than 65 feet of water.
The Nanhai No. 1 was placed on a waiting barge. It will be
deposited in a huge glass pool at a museum where the water
temperature, pressure and other environmental conditions are
the same as where it has lain on the sea bed.
Feng Shaowen, head of the Yangjiang city cultural bureau,
said visitors will be able watch the excavation of the ship
through windows on the pool.
The recovery of the Nanhai No. 1 was originally scheduled
for Saturday, but organizers decided to raise it a day early
because of favorable weather.