Medallion from Sukhothai underglaze fish plate T-717.

What's new - the Turiang

5 May 2002: Some of the ceramics on the Bakau wreck, a Chinese ship found in Indonesia and dated by coins to the early C15th, overlap with the Turiang's cargo, which is still thought to be from a few decades earlier. See MaritimeAsia 'what's new'.

21 Oct 2001: An exhibition on eleven historic shipwrecks discovered around Malaysia is due to open in mid-November at the national museum in Kuala Lumpur. Related material will be added to the site thereafter.

The 'central estimates' of dates for the Turiang, Longquan and Royal Nanhai shipwrecks have each been pushed back by ten years - to around 1370, 1400, and 1460 respectively. A decade is well within the margins of error of the previous estimates, and no particular new information can be cited - this is just the latest assessment of the balance of probabilities. For the moment at least, we have left the dates in the Turiang section of the website unchanged.

5 Aug 2001: 'The Turiang: a fourteenth-century Chinese shipwreck upsetting Southeast Asian ceramic history' was published in the Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume LXXIV Part 1 (No.280), 2001. All of the contents of the paper are included on the current website. The web version may be amended or augmented over time; any significant changes will be noted on this page.

26 May 2001: Added links to images of a few Royal Nanhai finds on the 'other wrecks' page.

5 May 2001: Thai Underwater Archaeology - a new web site by the government archaeologists about their finds since 1976. It appears that more material will be added over time.

4 May 2001: The Turiang monograph, a 64 page colour book by Roxanna Brown and Sten Sjostrand, is now priced at US$25 plus p&p, and credit cards are accepted. It can be ordered by e-mailing with 'Store Manager' in the subject line; or see contacts page for address & fax.

23 Apr 2001: Sten visited the Longquan site two weeks ago, and was appalled at the severe damage caused by trawlers. Over a period of just over two years, a 1.6 metre wreck mound has been levelled, and multiple layers of cargo have been shaved off, exposing much more of the wood. A virtually unspoilt site of great archaeological potential has been devastated. Malaysian fishermen were inactive in the area, but it is now intensively fished by Thai boats, which have moved further afield following the depletion of fish stocks in the Gulf of Thailand.

26 Mar 2001: Added a new page, Iron on historic shipwrecks in Southeast Asia, courtesy of Michael Flecker.

Donald Wagner has written some fascinating reports on regional iron trade and technology, of which the following may be especially interesting in this context:

- although we believe the granules on the Turiang were iron ore, and different from those found in Hong Kong.

15 Mar 2001: Corrected statement about the non-mackerel fishbones on the non-ceramics page: not larger, but definitely of a different species.

14 Mar 2001: Added photos of stamped flower inside celadon guan to Chinese ceramics page.

9 Mar 2001: Clarified slightly the wording on the non-ceramics page about the iron oxide conglomerates, thought to have been iron ore. We hope to learn more about the regional iron trade and how the finds on the various wrecks may fit in. Feedback welcome.

8 Mar 2001: Added clarification on the overview page of the name Turiang, taken from the Sukhothai name for their kiln sites, once thought to relate to 'fish', but now more probably to 'dish' - see ceramic issues note 2.

7 Mar 2001, pm: Added a few extra details about fishbones on the non-ceramics page, after Arne Anderssen received the Turiang sample for analysis. He hopes to report fully by August.

7 Mar 2001 am: At this stage the website itself is new, uploaded in its entirety only today - but new material and all significant modifications to existing pages will be noted here. Such changes will be infrequent. Sten will resume diving in March; the emphasis this year will be on other sites.

Turiang overview Maritime Asia homepage
Last modified:
13 Apr 2006