Presenter: Hans Van Tilburg of the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuaries
Description: Underwater Cultural Heritage can inform us about past events and seafaring cultures in powerful ways. China's ambitious Nanhai #1 excavation project has achieved a new milestone in the recovery of underwater cultural heritage artifacts. The discovery of a 900-year old Song dynasty merchant vessel initiated the removal of the adjacent seafloor along with the intact wreck, allowing for meticulous "in situ" excavation under environmentally controlled conditions within a specially-built lab. The wealth of porcelains and trade goods found with the vessel demonstrates the extensive and vibrant past of the Maritime Silk Road, and archaeologists are only now reaching the lower levels of the vessel’s cargo holds. The project is also relevant to today’s resource and management issues in the South China Sea.
Co-sponsors: NOAA National MPA Center, MPA News, EBM Tools Network (co-coordinated by OCTO and NatureServe)