Asian Maritime Trade before 1500


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To cover over 2 millennium of maritime trade, in the Middle East, India, SE Asia and China under 50 slides, can only give us the briefest gleam into the course of history. To get the benefit of the slides, you will need to set aside some time to read through the contents (This is a very wordy document. It takes time to read). Our perceptions on the maritime contacts are changing too. The discovery in particular of dozens of ancient shipwrecks in Southeast Asia has built up a picture of the historic trade and the technology.I hope in these few slides, would help to understanding an aspect of human civilization on Earth.

Too often our own ego-centric interest becomes a source of our own ignorance.

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  • Thank everyone for your support in particular Sardanas, Carmen Medruga, Michaelasanda. Everytime I put up a Powerpoint, I feel I get to know you all a little better. I am fasinated by voyages of the ancient maritime. Dotted along China and Southeast Asia coasts are Chinese temples built in the honour of the goddress TinHau (also known as Mazu, Mazupo, Tianhou etc). She is the Chinese goddess of the sea. I can imagine these ancient mariners visited these temples before and after their long voyages, giving thanks and asking blessing for the voyages. It must be a comforting sight to these temples again on the return journey. The more I get into the story the more I begin to realize how common and how busy the traffic were centuries before the European and centuries before the great voyages of Zhenghe in the early 15C. This is a history of the nameless, the majority of them lived through life without their names ever recorded on a single piece of paper. It was through them separated civilizations were connected and ideas were transmitted from places to places (not unlike the internet). It is also an incomplete story as new finds are being discovered every day, in particular about the role of the Indian mariners. In the next few months I am off to Spain (Basque), Southeast Asia and in particular Philippines and I hope to meet you on the web early next year.
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  • Reference Picture – Setting Sails by Derek Maitland published in 1981 p67. PREFACE To cover over 2 millennium of maritime trade, in the Middle East, India, SE Asia and China under 50 slides, can only give us the briefest gleam into the course of history. To get the benefit of the slides, you will need to set aside some time to read through the contents. Our perceptions on the maritime contacts are changing too. The discovery in particular of dozens of ancient shipwrecks in Southeast Asia has built up a picture of the historic trade and the technology. Several years ago, I began thinking of doing a Powerpoint about the Chinese mariner Zhenghe and his voyages to the Western Ocean (Chinese name for the Indian Ocean). This story is familiar to every Chinese school kids, but relatively unknown in the West until recently. When I get started, I found that these spectacular Zhenghe's voyages were only the last brilliant chapter of the Asian Maritime book, before the arrival of the European by sea. As I dig deeper, I discovered dozen of shipwrecks and the achievements went far into the past. The Sri Vijaya was the Asian equivalent of the European maritime power, like Venice. Their power was based on the control of the sea-lanes, with a series of ports and they rarely ventured into the hinterlands. This and other powers in Southeast Asia were in turned seeded by an even older maritime power in south India, the Cholas Empire. From India the journey took me further west to the lands of the Arab and Persian, the maritime world of Sinbad the Sailor. Until the arrival of the European and before the development of the Chinese maritime network in the Tang Dynasty, Arab dhows sailed across the ocean and the seas from ends to ends, linking distance people of China to the European. At last, I arrived in Alexandria, the ancient trading hub of the Mediterranean world, a bridge between the East with the West. In the slides, I have included three incidences of overseas traders being massacred in Chinese history. This is not to put black marks on an otherwise successful Chinese civilisation, but to remind ourselves how history have been sanctified one way or another. History should be a honest account of the past, without distortions and omissions. History is the witness. I hope in these few slides, would help to understanding an aspect of human civilization on Earth. Too often our own ego-centric interest becomes a source of our own ignorance. 29 Aug 2013.
  • Lake Issyk-Kul (Northern Tian Shan, eastern Kyrgyzstan) was suggested as the origin of the plague. Alternatively the plague began in the foothills of the Himalayas in India. Another plague, Justinian's Plague, devastated the Mediterranean world and was believed to have started somewhere in East Africa, travelling to the Mediterranean world during 541 to 544. The Silk Road was instrumental, just like in the case of the Black Death, in spreading Justinian's Plague. Although the Silk Road was a key component in spreading the Black Death by land from Central Asia, sea trade from ports along the Silk Road was another major element in spreading the Black Death westward. The Black Death started in Central Asia. Circumstantial evidence suggests in 1338 it spread by land on the Silk Road to the Middle East, and later by sea into Northern Africa and Europe. It ended with a third of European killed by the plague. It demonstrated dramatically how different parts of the world were linked together by trade. This was not the first time. In 541 to 544 The Justinian’s Plague (Eastern Roman Empire) is believed to start in East Africa and spread along trade routes.
  • Map Ref – Check out the chronology of Maritime Trade on this excellent website
  • The 2C BC – 1C AD Godawaya or Godavaya Shipwreck, Sri Lanka discovered in 2008, found black and red ware pottery. Also carried iron and copper bar, glass and grinding stone. With discovery of furnaces, Sri Lanka was making iron. Visit the Chronology page which include a comprehensive list of wrecks.
  • Cosmas Indicopleustes – 6C monk, a merchant of Alexandria. Voyages around 550 from Red Sea to India (Malabar Coast in the South) and Sri Lanka. He bears witness to the presence of Persian traders in SriLanka. Sri Lanka played an important role in transmitting merchandise between East and West, once performed by Western India. “From the whole of India, Persia and Ethiopia the island, acting as intermediary welcomes many ships and likewise despatches them”. It imports silk, aloes, cloves, clove-wood, sandal wood, and all the native products. It re-exports to Male, where pepper grows and to Calliena, where copper is produced. 7C onward, Chinese, Arab and South India were using Sri Lanka as a trade hub. 8C first trade link between China and the west Asia began to take form. Sri Lanka become an important staging post for the Chinese and Middle Eastern trade. Trade flourished under the strong Tang Dynasty in China and the Unification of the Middle East under Islam (Samanids Empire of Persia). Navigation by Sumerian in 3 rd millennium BC, probably after the Indian and the Chinese. Revenue from the city of Alexandria in Ptolemy Egypt were enormous. Watch Annual Lecture on South and Southeast Asian art 13 March 2013, a lecture by Osmund Bopearachchi
  • Ref : Wikipedia on Tim Severin and his Sinbad voyage on the dhow Sohar
  • Reference The Times Complete History of the World.
  • This artist impression is based on Quanzhou wreck found in China.
  • Yuan government set up seven Maritime Trade Superiorities respectively in Quanzhou, Qingyuan (modern Ningbo), Shanghai, Ganpu, Wenzhou, Guangzhou and Hangzhou to manage foreign trading activities. The Princess Taiping" sets off on a trial voyage off the coast of Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province on Wednesday, March 26, 2008. [China Foto Press] A replica of a fourteenth century junk boat, the first of its kind in China, embarked on its trial voyage on Wednesday off the coast of Xiamen, in preparation for a voyage across the Pacific Ocean. "The Princess Taiping" was built in strict accordance with ancient Chinese shipbuilding techniques with natural materials, China Foto Press reported. Senior craftsmen from the coastal cities of Fuzhou, Quanzhou, and Zhangzhou took part in the construction of wind-powered ship. After the trial voyage, the junk will sail across the Pacific to San Francisco, United States this May, and will return to China in March or April the following year. The junk, a flat-bottomed ship with a high mast and battened sails, was a typical mode of sea transport for Chinese on the maritime Silk Road.
  • Ref - Spices & Natural Flavourings – page 9, 11. Ref - History of Sino-Japanese relations. Wikipedia. The ports of Ningbo and Hangzhou had the most direct trading links to Japan. Ref – Rakemdra Chola’s Naval Expedition to Southeast Asia in 1025. Conquered the maritime power of Srivijaya based on Sumatra & Malay Peninsula. Recent research suggest the control of the China trade could be a reason for the expedition. After the defeat inter chinese-indian trade shift in favour of the Malay Peninsula away from Sumatra.
  • Ref : When China Ruled the Seas by Louise Levathes p76.
  • Figures for Spice production. Ref Wikipedia ‘Spice Trade’.
  • Reference Method of estimate load using a modified formula for calculation of Gross Tonnage – GT=K x V K is assume to be the mean value of K (0.22 – 0.32) or K=2.7. V is the Volume of the ship estimated to b 0.3 x length x width x high. Belitung – based on Jewel of Muscat measurement – : tonnage Nanhai 1 – Tonnage. - Nanhai I and the Maritime Silk Road by Li Qingxin published by China Intercontinental Press, in 2010 p 106. Huaguang Jiao 1 – Quanzhou wreck – Heze wreck, Shandong - Zhang Qilong, Director of Heze Institute of Cultural Relics, said, "This unearthed bottle should be from Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province. It was called "Plum Blossom Bottle" in the Qing Dynasty as its small mouth can only contain a tiny branch of plum blossom. It was used to be a container for wine but later it has become a household decoration."
  • Massacre at Yangzhou. Ref Wikipedia page on Yangzhou and Shipwreck, Tang Treasures and Monsoon Winds Published by Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian and the National Heritage Board of Singapore.
  • Ref : Photo from the Nanhai No 1, archaeological excavation published by Guangdong Cultural Relics Institute, published by The Scientific Press Beijing in Chinese.
  • Asian Maritime Trade before 1500

    1. First created 28 Jul 2013. Version 1.0 - 1 Sep 2013. Jerry Tse. London. Asian Maritime Trade A History of Wealth, Power & the Mariners An impression of a Zhenghe’s Treasure ship and a statue of a Ming military officer in Wat Phra Kaeo (Royal Temple), Bangkok, Thailand.
    2. EvidencesBlack Death The outbreak of the Black Death in Europe in 1338, reminds us of the trade links between Europe and Asia. Coins Archaeologists found many coins in foreign lands, in particular Roman coins in India. Spreading of Black Death in 14C, Europe Roman gold coins found in Pudukottai, India. One coin of Caligula (37- 41 AD) and two coins of Nero (54-68 AD). British Museum. London. A Yongle coin 1403-1425, Ming Dynasty was found in the Island of Manda, Kenya by an US team from the University of Illinois, Chicago in Feb 2013. A Byzantine gold coin of Justin I (518-527 AD). Excavated in 1988 at the Xianyang International Airport, Xian, China.
    3. EvidencesCeramic Green-splashed white dish with incised décor and bowl. 9C. Ceramic. Tang Dynasty, China. Samerra Museum for Islamic Art Berlin. Chinese (Tang Dynasty) ceramics found in Iraq.
    4. The stele records the arrival of Nestorian Christian (from Syria now) in China from the Roman Empire in 636. The stele was erected in 781. Xian Stele Museum, China. Photo Taken in May 1984 Evidences Indian Buddhist monks reached China during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Travellers’ Tales Marco Polo escorted the daughter of Kublai Khan to Persia for marriage, with a fleet of 14 ships, stopping at Borneo, Sumatra, Ceylon and Persia, between 1293 and 1295. The journey of Cosmas Indicopleustes, a merchant & Christian monk, who sailed between Alexandria and India around 550 AD. Nestorian Christian from Syria arrived in China in 636 CE. Chinese history is full of tales of travelling monks. The most well-known is Xuanzang of Tang Dynasty.
    5. Shipwrecks Map Ref – Until recently, most of our information on the Asian maritime trade comes from documented sources like books, treaties and history. Since the last quarter of the 20C, under sea archaeology has provided us with new understandings and perceptions of the maritime history. Most of the wrecks examined came mainly from east and southeast Asia. Following slide is a list of the important finds, recently. Evidences
    6. Shipwrecks Belitung 826 Nanhai One 南海1號 1160 HuaGuangJiao One 華光礁 13C Quanzhou 泉州 1272 Turiang 1305-70 Godawaya 2C BC Indonesia. 1998. Dhow carried mainly Chinese ceramics. (length 18m, width 5.6m. DWT 35 tons). South China Sea. 1987. Chinese junk carried mainly Chinese ceramics from Guangzhou. (length 30.4m, width 9.8m, 3.5m height. est DWT 300 tons). Xinsha Is. China. 1996. Chinese junk carried mainly ceramics. (length 20m, width 6m, 3-4m height. 60 tons). Quanzhou Fujian China. 1973. Chinese ship carried incense wood. Spices and coins. (length 24.2m, width 9.2m. Displacement 200 tons). Found off the coast of Malaysia Peninsula in 1998, the Chinese Turiang wreck of 1305-1370 carried Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese ceramics. (length c26m). Sri Lanka. 2008. Ship type unknown carrying Black & Red ware. Evidences Nan Han 南漢 Cirebon 968 Indonesia. 2004. Probably a dhow carried mainly Chinese wares. (length 30m, width 12m. Payload 200-300 tons). Shinan 1323 Korea. 1976. carried ceramic (mainly), wood and coins (7 million). Another Korea wreck Wando ship (1050-1100). 1984. 30000 Chinese celadon ceramics. (length 32-36m. 200 tons). Below is a list of the pre-15C finds, in recent years.
    7. West Asian Maritime Trade In 1503-1480 BC the Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut sent a maritime expedition to the land of Punt thought to be lands around the exit of the Red Sea into the Indian Ocean. Egypt A reconstruction of a 20m long Hatshepsut’s ship built in 2009. It has a cargo capacity of about 17 tones and travels between 5 and 9 knots. The voyage took the ship from Egypt to Sudan.
    8. West Asian Maritime Trade When Roman took over the city of Alexandria, Egypt in 80 BC, they found the port earned an enormous amount of revenue. Soon the Roman initiated trading voyages from Egypt to India. Alexandria became the greatest commercial centre of the world. The currency of exchange was gold. Spices were the major commodity for the trade. Judging by the amount of Roman coins in India and the concerns of Roman politicians on the loss of gold and silver buying silk, the traffic must be been substantial. Imperial Rome 1500 years later after Hatshepsut, the port of Alexandria in was the world’s busiest in Roman times. Ref – National Geographic Jul 2011
    9. West Asian Maritime Trade – Roman There were some 40 ports in west India trading with Rome. In 2005 the ancient port of Muziris was rediscovered. Amphorae (Mediterranean pottery jars) and glass were found. Recently the 2C BC Godawaya wreck was discovered in the water of Sri Lanka yielding large jars of Black and Red Ware of Mediterranean origin and glass ingots. Diplomatic relations between Rome and south India are known to historians. The main exports of India were pearls, herbs, spices, pepper, sesame oil and sugar to Rome. India Large jar from the Godawaya wreck, Sri Lanka on the bottom of the sea. Glass ingots, Godawaya wreck. Glass beads from Muziris, (modern day Pattanam).
    10. It was said that apostles Thomas went to India. The Syrian Christian church had established links with India, thought to be about 4C. Jews went to India about a few hundred years earlier around 5C BC. Today a sizable of Christians and Jews still live in this part of India. West Asian Maritime Trade – Gulf India A modern day synagogue in Kochi, Kerala, South India.
    11. By 7C powerful empires were established on each ends of the Asian maritime trade, the Islamic empires in the west the Tang Dynasty in the east. Once again we saw the maritime trade flourishing, as well as the trade on the Silk Road. The trade with south Indian ports on western coast shifted to Sri Lanka, which became a trading hub. West Asian Maritime Trade In the 3rd century we saw the declined of the Roman Empire. The Middle East was under the control first by the Persian and followed by Islam. The maritime trade in the western Asia were in the hands of the Persian, Arab and the Indian. Arabs & Persian Dish with cobalt blue in-glaze, developed in the Middle East and painted with a palmette design. 9C. Found in Barsa, Iraq. Collection Unknown. Dish with cobalt blue in-glaze mixed with a green in-glaze developed in Tang Dynasty, China. 9C. Found in Barsa, Iraq, from the collection of Victoria and Albert Museum. London. How did the Chinese green glaze got onto an Iraqi dish? This shows the complexity of the trading relationship once existed.
    12. The Dhow Reconstruction of an early dhow Sohar in 1980-81. It sailed from Oman to Guangzhou, China. Such a ship was capable of making trans-ocean voyages from the Gulf to E Africa, India, SE Asia and China, carrying Arab and Persian traders to Guangzhou during the Tang dynasty (618-907). This dhow is double-ended and it is called a ‘boom’. It has a displace of about 200 tons. History from the Sea. P Throckmorton p157
    13. Asian Maritime Trade India The maritime material history of Indian is less visible than its military and cultural influences on SE Asia. The Hindu and Buddhist influences are plain to see in the ruins of Thailand’s Ayutthaya (1351-1767), Burma's Bagan temples (1044-1287), Cambodia’s Angkor temples (800-1300) and the Javanese Borobudur (early 9C). As in the west, we also see the rises and falls of powers on the back of the maritime trade. Chinese fishing nets in Kerala, India. It was suggested that the net was introduced by the Chinese explorer Zhenghe. Recent research shows that these were introduced by the Portuguese Casado (married one) settles from Macau. Ref : Deepa Leslie, St Alberts College, Ernakulam on
    14. Asian Maritime Trade Srivijaya (650-1377) was an Indianised maritime power based on Sumatra & the Malay Peninsula. It was succeeded by the Javanese maritime power of Majapahit (1293-1527). By the time the Chinese admiral Zhenghe visited the same area in c1405, he fought off the Chinese pirate Chen Zuyi’s fleet, killing more than 5000 pirates. The most important maritime powers controlling the maritime trades in the east were the Cholas Kingdom (c300-1279) of South India during 950 and 1200. At its greatest extent, it controlled the Indian Ocean around India & Sri Lanka in the west and the Malacca Strait & the Java Sea in the east. In 11C it launched a series of raids against its main rival maritime power of Srivijaya. Maritime Powers The Borobudur ship is an 8C double outrigger sailing vessel, depicted on a bas relief on the Borobudur Buddhist monument in Central Java, Indonesia. This sort of ships could be used to carry spices from the more remote Spice Islands to the busy ports of Sumatra and Java.
    15. Detail Knowledge of the World pre-1500 The maps show explorations undertook by different regions of the world before 1500. The darker colours indicate detail knowledge of areas. The lighter colours show some knowledge either by observations or from reports. The lines shows the routes of the known explorers. The Times Complete History of the World, 8th Ed published in 2010..
    16. The rise of Malacca Malacca fell to the Portuguese in 1511. Tome Pires reported c1515 4-5,000 Gujarati mariners sailed to the city. (Ref The Strait Chinese by Khoo Joo Ee). Asian Maritime Trade Malacca was founded in about 1380 by a fleeing descendent of the maritime Srivijaya power, which was defeated by the Javanese maritime Singhasari. In the middle of 15C, Malacca became an international entrepot for the Chinese trades (mainly ceramics) as well as the spice trade. It is beneficially located on the weather system boundary between the Monsoon of Indian Ocean and Tropical Typhoon of the South China Sea. Malacca became a regional power and its success also bought conflicts with the Thailand’s Ayuthaya and later with the Vietnamese Champa The Dutch bastion in Malacca was built on top of an earlier Portuguese fortification. Taken on Oct 2011.
    17. The Asian maritime was a strong factor in the rises and falls of empires. In the 10C Venice & Genoa was prosperous, on the trades with Levant and Constantinople. The bitter rivalry ended with defeat of Genoa in 1381. Venice financed the Crusader, which eventually lead to the destruction of Byzantine Empire which was a rival of Venice. At the end of the 15C, the Portuguese, Vasco de Gamma discovered the sea route to India. This led to the decline of Venice and the Ottoman empire. Eventually Portuguese was replaced by the Dutch and then by the British. The coming of Colonial Age saw creation of the British Empire. During this time trades were widened by the introduction of goods like tea & porcelain. Asian Maritime Trade – European European In 1549, the entire Portuguese community of Quanzhou, Fujien was massacred. This eventually led to the founding of the Portuguese colony of Macau in 1557. This is the Macau’s landmark, the façade of St Paul’s built in 1602-40. Taken Dec 2005.
    18. Studies in genetics tell us about ancient migrations. Maritime voyages and explorations are as old as human existence. There are records of contact between the Han Dynasty with India and Middle East. Contact with Southeast Asia and Han Dynasty was established, as cloves (only grew in Moluccas, Indonesia) were used as breath sweeteners and for the relief of toothache . Most Chinese are familiar with the story of the first emperor, Qin Shi Huang sending a fleet to Japan in search of the elixir of life, in 219 BC and 210 BC. Japan was first mentioned in Chinese history in 57 AD. The Han emperor gave a golden seal to Japan, The seal was rediscovered in Japan in 1784. King of Na Gold Seal. 57 AD. Fukuoka Art Museum. Rediscovered in 1784 on Shikanoshima Island, Fukuoka. Han 202 BC-220 ADEast Asian Maritime Trade
    19. During the Tang Dynasty (618-907), the capital Xian had a section of the city set aside for the Silk Road inhabitants. Trading on the Silk road was expanded by the regular maritime trades to Sri Lanka and occasionally to the Middle East and Africa. The traditional trades with Japan and SE Asia also flourished as the Tang Dynasty grew stronger. Watertight cabins in ships were introduced Chinese Maritime Trade In the 4C Chinese monk Faxian (c337-422, Eastern Jin Dynasty) returned from Sri Lanka to China Laoshan Shandong. Tang 618-907 The Huaisheng Mosque 懷聖 also known as the Lighthouse Mosque 光塔寺 Guangzhou. It was thought that the mosque was founded about 1300 years ago (c700 AD), in the Tang Dynasty. The mosque was rebuilt in 1350 and in 1695 after a fire. The minaret was built earlier and may have served as a beacon for ships. If the dates are true then it is one of the oldest mosques in the world. In 7C some 200,000 Persians, Arabs, Indians, Malays and others lived in the city of Guangzhou as traders, artisans and metal workers. In 878, 120000 Jews, Christians Muslims were killed by Huang Chao in Guangzhou, reported by Abu-Zayd of Siraf, a 10C Arab writer. (ref When China Ruled the Seas. p39).
    20. Chinese Maritime Trade during Tang However, it is difficult to establish the extent of Chinese mariners’ involvement in the trade at this period. We do have documented evidences that Chinese sailors sailed from Guangzhou to East Africa between 785-805. There were a lot of overseas traders in Guangzhou and in Xian. A fair amount of Tang goods had found their way to the Middle East. This set off a competitions in ceramic techniques between the two areas. Tang A glazed pottery figurine of a black boy with curly hair. 7-8C. Tang (618-906). British Museum London. A pair of similar if not identical figurines can also be seen at the Heritage Museum, Shatin, Hongkong. African were brought to Guangzhou China as slaves by Arab. They were used as slaves. Taken on Aug 2013. Reference. Chinese Civilization In A New Light. Vol 6 – Tang Dynasty p61, published by the Commercial Press, Hong Kong. See also ‘The Importation of Negro Saves to China Under the Tang Dynasty’, by Professor Chang Hsing-lang, published in Catholic University of Peking, Bulletin No. 7. December, 1930 p 37-59. Fortunately, we do have a very important Arab wreck carrying Tang’s goods (825 AD), found near the Belitung Island in the Java Sea. (see later slides).
    21. Chinese Maritime Trade - Song During the Song Dynasty, China saw the development of the night markets and its maritime trade took off, in particular during the Southern Song (1127-1279), when it lost access to Silk road. The main trade was the ceramic trades with SE Asia & India. In 952 the first trade between China and Philippines was recorded. Traders from Mindoro brought their goods to Guangzhou. A permanent Chinese navy was established, during the Song Dynasty. The maritime trading network with Japan was strengthened, centred around Ningbo and Hangzhou on Chinese east coast. Song 960-1279 Origins of wares and location of Nan Han Cirebon wreck found in the Java Sea, a Five Dynasties (907-979) or early Song ship lost around 970, was discovered in 2005. It carried 260,000 pieces of trade goods, mostly ceramic ~100,000 pieces, but included glassware, terracotta, metal and metalware, spices, semi- precious stones, jewellery, tin, iron ores and arsenic. It carried ceramic from south China, glassware from the Middle East, metalware from China, goods from SE Asia and India. Ref: “Five Dynasty Treasures : Chinese Ceramics found in Indonesian Cirebon Shipwreck” by Lim Yah Chiew. Southeast Asian Ceramic Society.
    22. List of Chinese Kilns Kilns Clusters of kilns around Guanzhou and Chaozhou are missing on the map. Kilns were used to produce low cost ceramic for exports . Ref – Victoria and Albert Museum, London
    23. Chinese Maritime Trade - Song Trade between the Song and Korea was frequent. Large quantities of goods were traded, mainly from the northern ports of Hangzhou and Ningbo. 1087 Song Dynasty established an office in Quanzhou 泉 州 to regulate maritime trade. The incomes of Southern Song government was 4 times that of Northern Song. At times it contributed 15% of government incomes. Song 960-1279 Granite Luoyang bridge in Quanzhou was completed in 1059 with ship like piers. A series of kilns were developed around Guangzhou 廣 州 , the southern gateway to maritime trade. Their costs were lower because of their proximity to the port. Guangzhou lost its dominance to Quanzhou, as official policy shifted in favour of Quanzhou. The trade in Chaozhou 潮 州 also suffered because of pirates. In 997 some 3000 government ships were launched. Even in the turbulent year of 1128 Southern Song managed to produce 2000 ships in the year. A series of ship building technologies of haul and rudder designs were made. Ningbo Hangzhou Quanzhou Chaozhou Guangzhou
    24. Chinese Junk An impression of Chinese ocean going Junk. According to Marco Polo such ship has 13 compartments and can carry 150-300 crews, making frequent voyages to the India Ocean. History from the Sea. P Throckmorton p159
    25. Chinese Maritime Trade - Yuan During the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) with the Mongol empire stretching from Asia to Europe, the land and maritime trade routes were given new impetus. Yuan and Ming courts sent an unprecedented number of diplomatic missions to South India by sea. India was the chosen destination of the first two Zhenghe expeditions. First historical contact between Indonesia and China was the Invasion of Java by the Mongols in 1293 with a thousand ships. The first Chinese traders arrived on Ternate and Tidore in Maluku (Moluccas) Islands to buy cloves and were later driven out by Javanese traders. Yuan 1271-1368 We also saw the rise of Japanese pirates activities. Princess Taiping – a 14C warship replica built in 2008, with craftsmen from Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Zhangzhou. It sailed from Hong Kong on a trans-Pacific voyage to Vancouver and San Francisco, stopping in Taiwan and Japan. The ill fated junk was sunk after a collision with a Liberian tanker, on its return voyage off the coast of Taiwan, Photo taken by Wellwin Kwok. In 1351 Wu Jian recorded 7 mosques in Quanzhou, indicating a sizable Muslim population there.
    26. Chinese Maritime Trade - Ming Early Ming Dynasty saw the seven expedition voyages (1405-1433) of Zhenghe 和鄭 to the Southeast Asia, India, the Gulf and Africa, with a gigantic fleet. After the expeditions, conservative official gained power at the Ming court and banned maritime trades. However illegal maritime trades continued. Ming 1368-1644 Ref : Philip’s Atlas of World History. The first 3 voyages visited SE Asia, Sri Lanka and India. The next three voyages extended to the Gulf and East Africa. The 7th voyage was the most extensive with subsidiary voyage into the Red Sea. Ref :
    27. Ming 1368-1644Zheng He voyages 1405-33 A model of Zhenghe’s Treasure ship built in 2005 at the Treasure Boat Shipyard site in Nanjing, with 63.3m long. On the left is the inside of the ship. Zhenghe’s voyages were the greatest maritime expeditions in Chinese history. Between 1404 and 1407, 1681 ocean going ships were ordered by the Ming court. In 1405 expedition some 27800 men were sailing with a fleet 62 Treasure ships supported by approximately190 smaller ships. The fleet was composed of nine-mist Treasure ships for passengers, Equine ships for horses and tribute goods, Supply ships, six – mist Troop ships, Fuchuan 福 船 ships for general purpose carriers, patrol boats with oars and Water Tankers for carrying fresh water. The Treasure ships were used as passenger ships for the royal families, foreign dignitaries, diplomats, officers and including entertainers. As none of the Treasure ships is found, the size of the ship is a controversy. The upper limit for the ship is put at 140m in length and the lower limit is between 61m to 76m. Estimates for DWT varies wildly from 800 tons to 7000 tons !!! Rulers of Calicut, Cochin, Java and Melaka visited the Ming court.
    28. Chinese Maritime Trade - Qing Vasco de Game reached India in 1497. Portuguese reached Malacca in 1509 and established trading in Guangzhou in 1517. The arrival of European changed trades in Asia, which is beyond the scope of this slideshow. During Qing Dynasty, Chinese ceramic had reached a new peak of excellence. Arrival of the European also open new markets and new demands. The European trade in tea rocketed. A new kind of ship were built by the British, called the clippers. Qing 1644-1911 An engraving on a London newspaper showing boxes of tea off loading from a clipper (background), about 1000 ton sailing ship without engine. Illustrated London News. October 1867. Armorial Plate. Chinese export porcelain. c1745. Collection of Ughrooke House.
    29. Exports The spice trade was the oldest and the most important trade. It was the motive for the European to find a sea route to Asia. The silk trade was also very old. Its importance to the maritime trade was more difficult to determine. Since c522, Arabs began to manufacture silk and later by Byzantium in the 6C. There are still silk factories operating in Turkey today. The Indian textile trade was very popular. It was exported to Europe, Middle East and SE Asia. The trade declined only when the industrial weaving textile appeared. The second most important trade was the ceramic trade. In particular around 7C, when Chinese maritime trade flourished. Large amount of ceramic were discovered in wrecks. The trade was also boosted by the arrival of the European. Tea drinking became popular during the Song Dynasty. The trade in tea ballooned when the British adopted the habit. Spices Metal Ivory Rhino horn Animal skins Ceramic Glass Metalware Frankincense Pearls Ceramic Iron Ceramic Spices Textile Gems Iron Ivory Perfumes Herbs Pigments Sandalwood Spices Ceramic Silk Tea Metalware Bamboo Gunpowder Rice Camphor Goods
    30. GoodsSpice Ginger - India China Tamarind - India Saffron - India Coriander – Europe, Middle East Nutmeg, Mace - Moluccas Cloves - Moluccas Cinnamon – Sri Lanka Turmeric - India Cumin - East Mediterranean Pepper - India Betal nut – Tropical Asia, E Africa Star Anise – China Chilli – IndiaFrankincense, myrrh, other aromatic resin – Arabia and E Africa Taken on Aug 2013.
    31. Goods Spices were as precious as gold in the Middle Ages in Europe and were needed to preserve surplus foods. Empires rose and fought for the control the trades. The European colonialism, with its historical consequences arose from it. It bought enormous wealth to many. The spice trade was the oldest and lasted the longest. As the trade network grew, other commodities were traded, textile, silk, ceramic, tea etc. Today India still produces 86% of the world spices, followed next by China with 4% of the production. Spice Taken by Jason Pitcher. The modern Spice Bazaar of Istanbul erected in 1660. The rents from the shops went to support the mosque.
    32. Ship Types Ships
    33. The Belitung was an Arabic dhow. It was sailing on its return journey from China in 826 AD, during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). The ship sank off the coast of Belitung island, Indonesia, by Sumatra. Belitung – 826 AD Wreck The Jewel of Muscat is a reconstruction of the Belitung dhow. Left – crew eating on board and a diagram of the dhow. Its main cargo was ceramics manufactured in Changshan 長 沙 . Together with a varieties of metal ware from lead ingots to solid gold cup. Some 60,000 artefacts were salvaged. The wreck was discovered in 1998. The entire salvaged cargo was sold for $32m to the Sentosa Development Corporation and the Singaporean Government. Today the dhow, the Jewel of Muscat and the artefacts salvaged from the wreck are housed at the Maritime Experiential Museum of Singapore.
    34. Jewel of Muscat - 2010 The Jewel of Muscat is a reconstruction of the Belitung dhow. The dhow is 18m long, 6.4m wide. Weight of boat is 20 tons and a load of 35 tons of cargo and crews. The dhow took 138 days to sail from Muscat to Singapore at a average speed 3.7 kph. Dhow
    35. Artefacts Belitung – 826 AD Lobed silver parcel-gild boxes. Large lidded Jar. Bowl from the Changsha Kilns, the earliest known ‘Blue and White porcelain in China. Painted flora lozenge motif on disk also from Changsha. Usually nearly 95% some 55000 pieces of the ceramic carried by the dhow were from Changsha kilns. On a bowl it was inscribed with a date “16th day of the 7th month of the 2nd year of the Baoli reign” or 826 AD. It included the early Chinese ‘Blue & White’ porcelain. Another surprise were the amount of metal wares. There were 29 bronze mirrors. There were also silver boxes and plate, with several gold pieces.
    36. Artefacts Ewer with Dragon-head spout & Feline handle (H 104 cm). Dragon Medallion Bowl (D 15 cm). Large Lidded Jar (H 39 x D 35 cm). There were some 200 pieces of white-glazed earthenware with green paint décor. All dated around same time as the wreck. There were several suggestions where the wares were manufactured. The most accepted origin is Gongxian kiln in Henan province. Others were Changsha Hunan or Yaozhou, Shanxi etc. Belitung – 826 AD
    37. Artefacts Star anise (Star spice) from China found in storage jar. c825-50. Tang Dynasty, China. Credit –M Flocker. Belitung – 826 AD
    38. Artefacts Lead ingot stored in Jar. Belitung wreck In the 7th -8th century, Yangzhou 揚 州 was the home of many Arab and Persian merchants. During the An Shi Rebellion of 760, thousands of them were massacred and their wealth were looted by Tien Shen-kung’s 田 神 功 rebel insurgents. Eventually, the looted gold and silver treasures were offered to the emperor as tributes. Ref: Wikipedia on Yangzhou and Shipwreck published by the Arthur M Asckler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, the National Heritage Board, Singapore and the Singapore Tourism Board in 2010. p221. Belitung – 826 AD
    39. Bronze mirror with lions and grapevine design. c825-50. Dia 12.5 cm. Tang Dynasty, China. There were 29 bronze mirror found at the wreck. Originally the mirrors were highly reflective silver but turned black in time. One mirror identified itself to be made in Yangzhou. ArtefactsBelitung – 826 AD
    40. Artefacts Four-lobed Silver Bowl (with a Rhino detail). c825-50. Silver. Tang Dynasty, China. Belitung – 826 AD
    41. Artefacts Oval Lobed Gold Bowl (Two geese at the centre. detail). c825-50. Tang Dynasty, China. H 3 x L 15.5 x W 10.2 cm. Probably manufactured in Yangzhou, Jiangsu, China. ArtScience Museum. Singapore. Belitung – 826 AD
    42. Artefacts A large octagonal footed solid gold cup. c825-50. H9.5 x D13.5 cm. On each face is a central Asian musician or dancer. These entertainers were popular during this period. The cup was probably made in Yangzhou. Other similar Tang Dynasty cups were found before. Some of them are on display at the Shaanxi History Museum. Silver and gold objects were hidden on the bottom of the boat in a special compartment. Belitung – 826 AD
    43. Nanhai No 1 – 1160 AD The Chinese merchant wreck sank off the south China coast c1160 (Song), carrying 60000-80000 items, mainly ceramics. wreck
    44. In December 2007, in front of live TV a chunk of the seabed containing the 850 years old Southern Song wreck Nanhai No. 1 was lifted out of the sea to be placed in a newly constructed museum, known as the ‘Crystal Palace’ near the town of Yangjiang 陽江 , Guangdong, for further excavation. The wreck (c1160) is one of the bigger and older wrecks, on the maritime trading route, in Chinese waters. Excavation is continuing, but a brass kettle, a gold chain and numerous white ceramic from Dehua 德化 , Fujian have been found. The wreck contains some 60000 to 80000 items. The cage containing the wreck buried in the seabed, is housed at the Guangdong Maritime Silk Road Museum, Yangjiang. wreckNanhai No 1 – 1160 AD
    45. Nanhai No 1 wreck
    46. wreck One of the most interesting objects found on the wreck was a gold chain on Nanhai No. 1. As the gold chain was not of Chinese origin, it might have belonged to a passenger returning home. Nanhai No 1 – 1160 AD
    47. Turiang 1370 & Royal Nanhai 1450 – Thai ceramics wreck Left – Ceramic plate with a fish & bottle from the wreck Turiang. c1400. The wreck was sank on the east coast of Malaysian Peninsula. It was a Chinese junk probably sailing from Ayutthaya (Thailand) to Indonesia. The cargo was made up of 57% Thai, 35% South Chinese and 8% Vietnamese ceramic wares. Victoria & Albert Museum. Photo taken 6 July 2013 A green-glazed bowl, a brown glazed jar and green-glazed stoneware from the wreck Royal Nanhai, sank in 1450-1500. It was a Siamese ship found on the east coast of Malaysian Peninsula. The ship carried some 20,000 ceramics piece almost entirely of Si Satchanalai wares, probably to Indonesia. It shows the success of Thai kilns in supplying the trade.
    48. The Chinese ocean going junk “Keying” that sailed from China into the Atlantic, visited New York and London (1846-1848). Keying – 1846 AD Ships
    49. Ships Keying 1846 Keying - After Deck of the ship Ref : Engravings of the ship Keying from Illustrated London News 1 Apr 1848. Keying – Interior of the ship Keying ( 耆英 ) was a 45m long, three- mast 800-ton trading junk. It was built in Foochow between 1846-48, secretly by British businessmen in Hongkong, as Chinese government prohibited the sale of such ships. In Dec 1846, manned by 12 British and 30 Chinese sailors, it left Hongkong and sailed to London. The ship entered the Atlantic after passing the Cape of Good Hope to New York. From New York it sailed back to London on April 1848. It was the only Chinese junk that sailed into the Atlantic. It showed that the junk was able to circumnavigate the world. Ref : Wikipedia Keying Ship
    50. Pepper, the Prince of Spice. Black pepper corns and black pepper plants in plantation. All rights reserved. Rights belong to their respective owners. Available free for non-commercial and personal use. The End Music – Solitude performed by Nigel Kennedy. A History of Wealth, Power & the MarinersDedicated to the nameless men and women, who sailed across the seas, at the mercy of the seas and pirates.