The Can Don Shipwreck

This shipwreck was discovered 12 kilometers from Hon Bay Chan, a small island belonging to the Con Dao group south of Vietnam, at a depth of 35 meters. In 1991, archeologists examined the wreck and salvaged the cargo. The ship was approximately 25 meters long and 7.7 meters wide.  Since half of the hull remained in very good condition, scientists were able to determine that the vessel was a lorcha, a special type of Chinese vessel influenced by Portuguese design. Based on coins and ceramics found at the wreck, the lorcha is believed to have sunk in c.1690. At that time, the Portuguese had already established settlements in the region and thus, this lorcha is evidence of the exchange of Eastern and Western maritime traditions.  Archeologists believe a fire, ignited by lightening or an accident on board, caused the vessel to sink. Furthermore, as there is no evidence of plundering, a pirate attack can be ruled out.

The vessel carried primarily Chinese ceramics. Nearly 50,000 pieces of various types and qualities, including blue and white ceramics, Kitchen Qing, Blanc de Chine and stoneware, have been recovered, with around 60% being perfectly preserved. Additionally, different types of artifacts, such as figures made of soap stones, dices, an ear pick cleaner, and brass chests as well as personal belongings, have been salvaged. Additionally, food remains have been discovered, such as walnuts, dried persimmons and lychees. The cargo indicates that the vessel was destined for Batavia (Jakarta). High quality Chinese products, such as the blue and white ceramics, would be further bound for European markets and thus would have been transferred on arrival at the port of their destination.  Other goods, such as building materials, cooking utensils, and agricultural equipment, were destined for a Chinese settlement.

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Profil du pays

flag Viêt Nam
Capitale: Hanoï
Région: Asie et Pacifique

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