The Tang Shipwreck
Asian Civilisations Museum
Art direction, Design, Print production
The Tang Shipwreck, discovered off Belitung Island in Indonesia in 1998, ranks as one of the most significant and archaeological discoveries of recent times. Found at the site was a remarkable cargo of some 60,000 Chinese ceramics dating from the Tang dynasty (618–907), along with a number of finely wrought gold and silver objects, bronze mirrors, and more ordinary objects belonging to the crew. Just as remarkable were the remnants of the ship itself, which consisted of wooden planks sewn together with rope. The ceramics on board were also highly unusual, as many types are not encountered elsewhere, and the ship was not on the most direct route between China and the Middle East.
Published in conjunction with the exhibition The Tang Shipwreck, Art and Exchange in the 9th Century, the hardcover book tells the story and presents objects found on the wreck. The ten essays in this profusely illustrated volume discuss the ceramics and other commodities on board, the ship's construction and possible origin, China's maritime trade in the Tang period, Chinese cermaic production, ports of call in Asia and Southeast Asia, and life on board the ship.