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15 July 2015

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Changsha Tonguan Kiln Museum Exhibits Batu Hitam Shipwreck Treasures

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The Changsha Tongguan Kiln Museum officially opened to the public on May 14. A collection of 162 pieces of returned treasure found in the shipwreck “Batu Hitam” are accessible to the public for the first time at the museum.

The treasures were found at a huge cargo of ninth-century porcelain traded from China during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) via an Arab dhow, which wrecked in Indonesia's Java sea.

The museum will open to the public for free between May 15 and 31. It will charge a 40 CNY/person entrance fee starting from June 1. It is open from 9:00 to 17:00 from every Tuesday to Sunday and closed on every Monday (except for national statutory holidays).

The museum is located at Caitaoyuan Village, Tongguan Residential Community, Wangcheng District, Changsha. It features the development history of ceramic culture of Changsha Tongguan Kiln during the Tang Dynasty (more than 1,200 years ago). Covering a total area of 11,436.5 sqm, it has 7 exhibition halls occupying 6,272 sqm.

The exhibited treasures found in the ship include celadon, white porcelain, white glazed green porcelain, and underglaze painted porcelain. Most are well-preserved, with good quality and high-level historical and cultural values. A life-size 1:1 replica of the shipwreck is on display at the museum.

Background information:
The Belitung shipwreck (also called the Tang shipwreck or Batu Hitam shipwreck) is the wreck of an Arabian dhow which sailed en route from Africa to China around 830 CE. Belitung is to the south-east of the Singapore Strait by 380 miles (610 km), and this secondary route is more normal for ships travelling from the Java Sea, which is south of Belitung Island.

The wreck has given archaeologists two major discoveries: the biggest single collection of Tang dynasty artefacts found in one location, the so-called "Tang Treasure"; and the Arabian dhow, which gives a new insight into the trade routes between China and the Middle East during that period. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)

Please refer to www.enghunan.gov.cn when using the article.

Translator: Xiao Juan

Chinese source: hn.people.com.cn; xinhuanet.com

Photo source: hn.people.com.cn