Pearls from the Gulf found in Sunken Treasure Ship

Pearls from the Gulf found in Sunken Treasure Ship


The treasure shows objects being traded between the Far and Middle East, including carved rock and crystal typical of the Fatimid dynasty in Egypt, Mesopotamian drinking glasses, pearls from the Gulf, bronze and gold from Malaysia and exquisite Chinese imperial porcelain.

The treasure was recovered from the wreck of a merchant ship -- nationality unknown -- that dates back to about about 960 A.D and was first spotted by Indonesian fishermen 57 metres (187 feet) under the sea.

It took some 22,000 dives between between April 2004 and October 2005 to excavate the find, which was privately funded under an agreement with Indonesian authorities.

Ancient treasure worth an estimated $80 million dollars which was found in a ship that sank off Indonesia 1,000 years ago is up for sale again, the head of the excavation team said Monday.

The "Cirebon treasure" was discovered in a wreck off the port of Cirebon on Indonesia's Java island and contains about 250,000 precious objects, including crystal, pearls and gold.

"(The haul) is certainly the largest ever found in Southeast Asia in terms of both quality and quantity," Luc Heymans, the Belgian director of Cosmix Underwater Research Ltd., the Dubai-based firm that excavated the find, told AFP in an email.

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