MARITIME EXPLORATIONS

Gulf of Thailand Wreck Details & Photos

 

The Central Gulf of Thailand Wreck location is rather evident, but more precisely, she lies in 55 m deep water some 60 nautical miles south of Sattahip.

The hull is perhaps more intact than any other ancient shipwreck in Asian waters, and is certainly the best preserved example of the South China Sea Tradition. A diver standing within a hull compartment must reach up to touch the top of the bulkheads. She is 18 m long and 6 m wide. Surviving features that have rarely, if ever, been seen before include two longitudinal stringers, an axial main-mast support, and a rudder socket for an axial rudder.

The cargo consisted almost entirely of Thai ceramics, with many of the smaller items being stowed inside storage jars. Most were utilitarian in nature. There were also a few examples of Chinese blue-and-white porcelain, as often occurs in wreck sites of this nature, and some Vietnamese water droppers. Non-cargo artefacts include Chinese bronze 'hand guns', gongs, and a lime-based putty.

This wreck is one of the most recent of this very successful design to be discovered. The South China Sea Tradition is thought to have been phased out later in the 16th century, paralleling the decline in the Thai export ceramics industry, as it did the rise.

 

Chinese blue-and-white bowl.

Sawankhalok kendi in the form of a lady with a fish (the spout).

Vietnamese toad water-droppers.

     

Sawankhalok vase.

Stoneware cooking stove.

Jars glued together with a lime-based compound.

     

Spouted jar.

Stoneware oil lamp.

White-glazed vase.