LIFE&STYLE

Treasures of Sinan shipwreck unveiled online

By Song Seung-hyun
  • Published : Aug 4, 2020 - 16:13
  • Updated : Aug 4, 2020 - 16:13

Sinan ship from China, which was wrecked in 1323 (National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage)


An online exhibition of artifacts from the Sinan shipwreck opened Tuesday, showing the vessels and coins, among other items, that were dug up from the ocean floor during an eight-year underwater salvage operation.

According to the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage, which organized the online exhibition, the ship, which is estimated to weigh more than 200 tons, sunk while carrying priceless cargo in 1323. The ship left from the port of Ningbo in China and was headed for Hakata in Japan.

In August 1975, a fisherman in Sinan accidentally “caught ” six ceramic vessels, including celadons that date back to the 14th century Yuan Dynasty China, in his fishing net, leading to a search for a sunken ship.

A year later, an underwater salvage operation was launched, and it continued until 1984. Around 27,000 pieces of artifacts and more than 28 tons of Chinese coins were found at the time.

“Fifty-seven additional artifacts which were illegally excavated and kept hidden by a man in Daejeon for 36 years were found and returned to the Cultural Heritage Administration last year,” the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage Researcher Park Yae-ri told The Korea Herald. Currently there no further underwater searches related to the Sinan shipwreck are being conducted by the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage, she added.

“Of the items that have been found, we have selected around 80 representative relics for the online exhibition,” Park added. The organizer also said that a cartoon and a documentary film about the Sinan shipwreck are also provided on the web gallery.

The National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage said the decision to open the online exhibition was made at the request of the public. Artifacts from the Sinan shipwreck have also been exhibited at the National Museum of Korea and the Gwangju National Museum.

Stories about the Sinan shipwreck and the relics it carried can be found on portal giant Daum’s gallery webpage https://gallery.v.daum.net/p/premium/shinanshipwreck.

By Song Seung-hyun(ssh@heraldcorp.com)