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The Bakau or Maranei Shipwreck:A Chinese Smuggling Vessel and its Context
Bakau ship was on a smuggling voyage when it sank. It is the oldest well-preserved Chinese ship yet found outside of China. Its cargo consisted of large quantities of ceramics from at least three areas of Southeast Asia as well as China. Cannons found on the ship are possibly the oldest evidence for this form of artillery on any vessel. This discovery helps us reconstruct the nature of illicit trade during the early 15th century CE. For obvious reasons, no detailed written records of this trade survive. The ship was probably bound for Java, where several Chinese communities existed. The discovery illustrates the sophistication of trade in Southeast Asia during a period when Chinese goods were strictly forbidden by the Chinese government to engage in overseas commerce.
Cannon, Ceramic Trade, Fine Paste Ware, Java, Ming.
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