Sunday, April 03, 2011
Now in Singapore: Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds
The sailors and the merchants took the risks of sailing across the stormy and unknown seas. One particular ninth century Arab dhow that was on its trip back to its hometown found itself shipwrecked off the coast of Belitung, a small island in the Java Sea. Thankfully, as best as I am aware, no life was lost.
The shipwreck might have caused heavy losses for the crew. Yet, it brought about significant revelations and historical evidences for generations to come. The discovery of the shipwrecked Arab dhow off the coast of Belitung and the uncovered cargo provided the first physical proof of a maritime trade route between West Asia and China. Its discovery proved that as early as the ninth century, maritime trades existed between West Asia and China. Such maritime trades could have inspired the story of Sinbad the Sailor from the One Thousand and One Nights.
If you like the embedded video and this introductory post, please continue to read my post on my recent visit to the ArtScience Museum's Shipwrecked: Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds exhibition. In the meantime, please maintain your balance.