MARITIME EXPLORATIONS
Java Sea Wreck Details & Photos

 

The Java Sea Wreck is located in the western reaches of the Java Sea, half way between Bangka Island and Jakarta. She lies in 27 m of water, far from any navigation hazard.

Toredo worms and erosion have all but destroyed the hull. However, the little remaining evidence suggests an Indonesian lashed-lug vessel of about 28 m in length. From the location and cargo she was voyaging from China to Java.

The surviving cargo consisted of 200 tonnes of cast iron pans and wrought iron bars, underlying up to 100,000 Song dynasty ceramics. 12,000 intact pieces were archaeologically excavated in 1996, after considerable looting and destruction by dynamite fishing. The ceramics are mostly celadon-type export ware from southern China, but there is also an array of Thai fine-paste-ware.

Unique artefacts include Indonesian bronze figurines, scale weights, ivory, aromatic resin, and glass ware. These indicate that the ship may have stopped at a port in southern Sumatra.

The Java Sea Wreck is a fine example of Southeast Asian shipping being used to transport a Chinese export cargo. No doubt she had carried a cargo of spices and exotic forest products to China for trade. Despite the dominance of Chinese goods in Asian trade, Chinese shipping only started to play an important role after the 14th century.

 

Bronze figurine.

Indonesian scale weights.

Clay tablet.

     

Fine-paste-ware kendi.

Moulded and painted ewer.

Erotic sculpture in covered box.

     

Qingbai covered boxes.

Rice measure.

Celedon bowls.