Chinese Archaeologists Retrieve Sunken Ming Ceramics

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Archaeologists have unearthed more than 2,000 pieces of Ming Dynasty porcelain from a sunken ship in the South China Sea. The ship, believed to have sunk more than 400 years ago, is the first vessel ever discovered from China's late Ming Dynasty.

Chinese archaeologists retrieved more than 2,000 pieces of Ming Dynasty ceramics on Sunday from a sunken vessel in the South China Sea.

The porcelain wares were recovered from the Nan'ao One, a Ming Dynasty merchant ship believed to have sunk off the coast of Shantou City in Guangdong Province more than 400 years ago. It was accidentally discovered near Nan'ao Island by a group of fishermen in 2007.

The ship is the first vessel ever discovered from China's late Ming Dynasty, which ran from 1368 to 1664.

The initial excavation of the ship began in 2009, and over 2,700 relics have been recovered from the ship this year, according to Chinese state media. Most of the submerged relics are things like plates, tins and bowls.

Researchers believe the ship was traveling to Southeast Asia when it sank in the Sandianjin waters.

The salvage effort is expected to last until July.

Of nearly three million sunken ships in oceans around the world, more than 2,000 are believed to be in the South China Sea.

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