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Mystery over wreck's copper plates

05-17-2010 08:34 BJT Special Report: Underwater archaeological investigation for Nan’ao No. 1 |

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Archaeologists have discovered piles of copper plates from their salvage work of the ancient ship Nan'ao number one, which sank off Shantou in South China's Guangdong province.

Some people, believe the vessel may have been involved in arms smuggling. That's because during the late Ming Dynasty, when the ship was in operation, the export of military supplies, iron goods and copper coins was prohibited. However, experts say there's not enough proof to show that. They say, more work needs to be done to determine whether the copper plates are finished products or raw materials, after being joined together from spending hundreds of years under water.

Professor Mao Peiqi, Ming Dynasty Historian said, "There were lots of items on the forbidden list during the Ming Dynasty. Iron pans, and copper coins were banned from export during that time. But we didn't see any prohibition on the export of copper plates."

Editor:Zhang Ning |Source: CCTV.com

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