Typology dating archaeology

The excavation of The Wanli Shipwreck in Malaysia’s territorial waters is only the latest chapter in their joint efforts to illuminate history through projects in maritime archaeology.

The accumulated details of this shipwreck site reveal a surprising and explosive history – the date, the historical circumstances, the mounds of shattered porcelain associated with broken and missing hull planks lead intractably to the theory that the vessel was a Portuguese-managed ship that sank in a sea battle with Dutch forces that were seeking to control the port of Melaka.

Its two most important elements are a full accounting of the archaeological excavation itself and then an inventory of the artefacts recovered.

Besides 650 full color illustrations, there are drawings, maps and illustrations of the site, both ceramic and non-ceramic artefacts, and ship parts and fittings.for more than two decades and another decade researching maritime trade.Most of this work is concentrated to the South China Sea, a virtual highway for ancient shipping linking China to India, the Middle East and Southeast Asia in an extensive maritime trade system.Most important, the numbers of each type of artifact are stated or at least estimated.With numbers, many welcome analyses become possible.

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