Tang Shipwreck: Digging into Controversy

What an Amazing World!

The Tang Shipwreck gallery at Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum

In the ninth century CE, an Arabian dhow sailed from the Middle East to China, possibly bringing precious cargo from Africa, Arabia, Persia, and other places along its journey to the Far East through the Indian Ocean, the Strait of Malacca, and all the way into the South China Sea. On the way back, after setting sail from the port of Canton in southern China, the dhow, which by now had been fully loaded with tens of thousands of fine Tang-dynasty ceramics and gold items, traveled the same route to return home. However, it never made it through the Strait of Malacca as it veered off hundreds of kilometers to the south of what is now Singapore and nothing was ever heard again of the ship.*

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One day in 1998, a group of fishermen started their day uneventfully…

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