We recently posted about a new exhibit at New York City’s Asia Society featuring artifacts from the wreck of an Arab dhow which sank with a veritable treasure trove of Tang Dynasty goods off Indonesia’s Belitung Island in the 9th century. The shipwreck was discovered by local fishermen in 1998 and represented the first example of sea trade between the Middle East and China in the period. In addition to the historical value of the cargo, the remarkably well preserved ship proved to be invaluable to archaeologists and maritime historians. Based on the dimensions taken from the wreck and the construction details observed, a replica of the trading ship was built in Oman in 2008 and was christened Jewel of Muscat. In 2010, Jewel of Muscat recreated a 9th century trading voyage from Oman to Singapore.
The Jewel of Muscat is now on display in the Maritime Experiential Museum in Singapore. The museum was built to to house the ship and some of the 60,000 artifacts salvaged from the Belitung shipwreck.