A key discovery revealed during the recovery of the No. 2 Yangtze River estuary

A key discovery revealed during the recovery of the No. 2 Yangtze River estuary

(ECNS) — Shanghai has started to salvage the No. 2 Yangtze River Estuary, one of the largest and best-preserved ancient wooden shipwrecks in the world, local authorities said Wednesday.

Yangtze River Estuary No. 2 was discovered in 2015 after Yangtze River Estuary No. 1 using techniques such as sonar scanning and later confirmed to be a cast iron warship made during the period of the Republic of China (1912-1949).

The discovery is another milestone in Chinese underwater archeology following the discovery of the Nanhai No. 1 wreck of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) 35 years ago, providing great value for historical research, scientific and artistic.

The preservation of these wrecks and the abundance of associated relics can be of great importance for the history of shipbuilding, science, ceramics and economics.

After six years of underwater exploration, archaeologists have confirmed that Yangtze River No. 2 Estuary was built during the reign of Emperor Tongzhi (1862-1874) of the Qing Dynasty. It is approximately 38.5 meters long and 7.8 meters wide. At least 31 cabins are confirmed to have been on board.

Several pieces of blue and white porcelain recovered in 2019. (Photo provided to China News Service by Shanghai Municipal Culture and Tourism Administration)

Yangtze River Estuary No. 2 is the epitome of modern Shanghai as a center of international trade and shipping, which is a key factor in the application of the World Heritage Maritime Silk Road.

Underwater archeology has made significant technological breakthroughs with “zero visibility”, which provides new methods for global research.

Rescue and relocation work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022, according to an official. Shanghai decided to build a museum specifically for Yangtze River No. 2 Estuary in Yangpu District.

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