The Belitung Wreck Site After Commercial Salvage In 1998

Dublin Core

Title

The Belitung Wreck Site After Commercial Salvage In 1998

Description

The Belitung Shipwreck Site, located at 17 meters (m) depth in Belitung waters, Indonesia, is a shipwreck site containing Tang Dynasty (AD 618-906) cargo that was lifted by private salvage companies, Limited Corporation/Perusahaan Terbatas (PT). Sulung Segara Jaya and Seabed Exploration Company in 1998. The salvaging process was done without involving Indonesian State archaeologists. The shipwreck is an Arab or Indian vessel that includes 60,000 artifacts from the Tang Dynasty. In 2005, the artifacts sold to Singapore Sentosa Leisure Group.

In 2010, the Office for Cultural Heritage Preservation of Jambi conducted the first underwater archaeological survey at Belitung Shipwreck site in order to find out the conditions of the site after the salvaging operation. The result shows that the site is extremely ravaged, with unidentified ceramic fragments spread out in a radius of ± 20 square meters (m²). It seems clear that the ceramic fragments have been removed by the company then thrown back into the sea because considered non-commercial. Meanwhile, the structure of the actual shipwreck was not found. It was only a big hole with 6 m wide and 15 m long, which seems to be where the ship may have settled. The remnants are now just a few small wood fragments and a sizable chunk of wood, this maybe the mast-step. The Belitung Shipwreck is recognized worldwide as an extremely valuable find in Indonesian waters. Preservation efforts are needed to remind future generations that the shipwreck site very important for underwater archaeology in Indonesia. Some preservation efforts that can be done are legal protection, site rehabilitation, and establishing a maritime museum in Belitung Regency. The last of which efforts have initiated two years ago with the aim to preserve artifacts from Belitung shipwreck site and other underwater sites in Bangka Belitung Province.

Creator

Agus Sudaryadi

Date

November 2011

Files

Citation

Agus Sudaryadi, “The Belitung Wreck Site After Commercial Salvage In 1998 ,” The MUA Collection, accessed December 15, 2017, http://www.themua.org/collections/items/show/1230.

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