Geoff Wade sent a long message to H-Asia detailing the current status of the raising of the Nanhai1, a large Song dynasty (or maybe Ming dynasty, accounts vary) cargo ship being raised off the coast of Guangdong. The thing I find most interesting is the scale of the project, the first bit of underwater archeology done by the Chinese1 We do have underwater archaeologists in the West, but they are poorly funded. This seems to be a huge project, and part of the motivation is keeping the treasures of China’s cultural heritage out of the hands of foreign treasure hunters.
What impresses me most is what they are doing with it. The whole ship is being moved to shore and put in a giant pressurized tank so that it can be displayed and people can watch the underwater archaeologists work on it. China is truly at the forefront of Public History with Chinese Characteristics.
This is a really big tank being built to hold the Nanhai1 in its new exhibit (from the BBC)
Press accounts are not very clear on who is doing this. A university? The state? A special commission? ↩