In 1998 a thousand-year-old shipwreck was discovered off of Belitung Island, Indonesia. The items, produced in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907)—including ceramics, gold and silver vessels and bronze mirrors, were protected from erosion and breakage due to their packing and the conditions of the Java Sea. Prior to the discovery of this ship, believed to be headed to the Abbasid Caliphate, the Tang were believed to have primarily traded via the Silk Road and other Central Asian land routes. This exhibit of a selection of those artifacts is comprised of many works that have never before traveled outside Asia.
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