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Archaeologists discover two 16th century merchant shipwrecks near Hainan

The finds are expected to provide important new information on the history of international trade

HAIKOU /China/, May 22. /TASS/. Specialists from the Archaeology Institute of the National Cultural Heritage Administration of China and the Institute of Deep-sea and Science and Engineering of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found the remains of two sunken merchant ships from the early 16th century not far from Hainan Island in the northwest waters of the South China Sea. This is reported by the Hainan Daily newspaper.

According to the newspaper, both finds date back to the era of the Chinese Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). They were discovered on a manned submersible, the Shenhai Yongshi (Deep Sea Warrior). It sank to a depth of 1.5 thousand meters, where the ships lie, taking photos and videos.

The Chinese archaeologists noted that both ships were quite well preserved. They carried a lot of goods in their holds, the detailed study of which the scientists will start in the near future. It is expected that these findings will provide important new information concerning the history of international trade.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with the China Museum Of The South China Sea (Qionghai City, eastern Hainan). The research will be carried out in several stages and are expected to be conducted by March-April 2024. One of the main tasks is to ensure the preservation of ancient objects that have been under water for several hundred years.