Vietnamese Ceramic Lidded Jar Mid Ming Dynasty
AGE: Middle Ming estimated 1570 AD
HEIGHT: – 5cm
DIAMETER: – 6.5cm
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Vietnamese Ceramic Lidded Jar Mid Ming Dynasty excavated from Belanakan Shipwreck, one of the most remarkable discoveries of underwater archaeology in Southeast Asia. The Belanakan shipwreck was a large cargo vessel that sank in the Java Sea, about 50 km from Belanakan in West Java, Indonesia, in the second half of the 16th century.
The shipwreck was found by fishermen in May 2010 and on its discovery, more than 12,000 ceramics mostly from the Ming Jiajing period (1521-1567 AD) were excavated. The ceramics included plates, bowls, jars, vases, ewers, cups and saucers, mostly decorated with blue and white motifs.
According to the Indonesian Maritime Affairs and Fisheries at the time of its discovery, it was estimated that given the large size of the cargo more than one million pieces were still scattered in and around the wreck. After its discovery, the wreck was heavily looted by treasure hunters before archaeologists could fully study the site.
The majority of the ceramics were from Sawankhalok, a famous kiln site in Thailand that produced high-quality stoneware for export. Some of the ceramics were from Vietnam, such as the blue and white wares from Hoi An and Chu Dau. A small percentage of the ceramics were from China, such as the Swatow wares from Guangdong and the Jingdezhen wares from Jiangxi.
The Belanakan shipwreck is a valuable source of information about the maritime trade and cultural exchange between China and Southeast Asia in the 16th century. The ceramics reflect the diverse tastes and preferences of consumers in different regions, as well as the influence of Islamic and European styles on Chinese designs.
The Belanakan shipwreck also reveals the innovations and artistic achievements of the ceramic producers in Sawankhalok, Vietnam and China. The Belanakan shipwreck is a testimony to the rich and complex history of Southeast Asia and its connections to the world.