During a recent archaeological campaign in the South China Sea, a total of 900 Ming Dynasty artifacts were discovered. These artifacts, including ceramics, bronze, enamel, and ebony, were found in three separate stages following the initial discovery of shipwrecks in October 2022. The shipwrecks were located at a depth of 1,500 meters, approximately 150 km off the coast of the Chinese island of Hainan.

According to Song Jianzhong, the archaeologist leading the project, these artifacts provide valuable insight into the trade and cultural exchanges that occurred along the ancient Maritime Silk Road. The discoveries will enable researchers to conduct comparative studies between civilizations, shedding light on the historical significance of these objects.

The majority of the artifacts recovered are believed to have come from a commercial ship that was used to export ceramics. Among the 890 pieces recovered from this ship, some are adorned with enamel. This is particularly noteworthy as it is uncommon for enamel artifacts to be found in a sunken ship.

The second ship, which specialized in importing wood, yielded around forty artifacts including porcelain, pottery, seashells, and deer antlers. One especially rare find was a piece made of ebony, a material that is as uncommon as enamel to find in such a context.

The discovery of these Ming Dynasty artifacts not only provides valuable historical and cultural insights but also highlights the importance of preserving and protecting our underwater heritage. By studying and documenting these artifacts, researchers can piece together the intricate connections that existed between different civilizations during this period of history. This discovery serves as a reminder of the rich tapestry of human history that lies beneath the surface of the sea, waiting to be uncovered and shared with the world.