MARITIME EXPLORATIONS
Intan Wreck Details & Photos

 

The Intan Wreck is located some 40 nautical miles off the coast of Sumatra, nearly half way between Bangka and Jakarta. At a depth of 26 m she forms an oasis on an otherwise featureless undulating silty seabed.

From the fragments of the hull that have survived it can be concluded that she was an Indonesian lashed-lug ship, voyaging between a Srivijayan entrepot port, most likely Palembang, and central or eastern Java.

The cargo is extremely diverse. There are ceramics, silver ingots, mirrors, and ironware from China; tin ingots and currency from the Malay Peninsula; fine-paste-ware kendis and bottles from Thailand; and glass and amphorae from the Middle-East. Indonesian products include bronze ingots, gold coins and jewellery, aromatic resin, scales sets, and grind stones. Buddhist figurines, kala-head door knockers, oil lamps, mirrors, votive tablet moulds, pellet bells, vajra and ghanta are all beautifully depicted in Indonesian bronze. Elephant tusks, tiger teeth, sambar antlers, and even human bones and a molar remarkably survived.

The Intan ship was supplying metal deficient Java with all the necessities for day-to-day life, be they religious, ceremonial, or commercial. She clearly demonstrates the important role of the entrepot port, when Srivijaya was the power to be reckoned with.

 

Bronze kala head door knocker.

Gold modesty cover (caping).

Chinese silver ingots.

     

Bronze votive tablet mould.

Chinese mirrors.

Middle Eastern glass bottle.

     

Yue-ware ewer.

Fine-paste-ware bottle and kendi.

Yue-ware fish jar.