Luc Heymans

Indonesian sunken treasure up for sale again

This photo taken on April 30, 2010 shows ancient gold handle of a dagger with an Arabic inscription is displayed together with other gold jewelries and coins, garnet stones on a shell and other precious items at a showroom in south Jakarta


From Jakarta Globe


Ancient treasure worth an estimated $80 million dollars (Rp 733.9 billion) 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.

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

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

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.


Full story...