The Nanyang shipwreck (ca. 1380)

Nanyang, a late 14th century shipwreck, was located in Malaysian Territorial waters in 1995. The Nanyang was loaded with celadon wares from the famous Sisatchanalai kilns in northern Thailand. The ship was found ten miles from Tioman island, a popular tourist spot and a popular stopover for seafarers since the 9th century.

The construction details noted thus far, which includes transversal bulkheads, joined with wooden dowels, fits a South China Sea type ship. Much of the ship’s feature and the ceramics onboard are similar to that of the later, Royal Nanhai wreck. The length of the vessel appears to be 18 meters with a beam of 5 meters, and it may have carried as much as 10.000 pieces of pottery.

Celadons dishes with spur marks have hardly ever been documented and seem to indicate an early production technique. Because the same type of dish, when found onboard the Royal Nanhai, does not have these spur marks, it is believed that the Nanyangis an earlier shipwreck. All evidence from the kiln site suggests that celadon dishes with spur marks are earlier than similar dishes without them. The larger storage jars on the Nanyang also suggest an earlier date. The tentative date for the loss of the Nanyang is therefore set to the period 1372-1390.

There were 402 pieces recovered from theNanyang site.