Quanzhou ship

The ship of Quanzhou (Chinese泉州 古船, quánzhōugǔchuán, ancient ship from Quanzhou ) is the wreck of an ocean-going merchant ship from the late Southern Song Dynasty (南宋), which was found in the port of Quanzhou. It represents one of the most important archaeological discoveries of China Ship

Fund history

The wreck was discovered in 1973, during the dredging of the port of Houzhu (后 渚 港) in the Bay of Quanzhou at the mouth of the river Luoyangjiang (洛阳 江) under a 2.20 m high mud layer. In 1974 took place then the 1 ½ -month excavation by the Maritime Museum Quanzhou and Xiamen University. Get were only the fuselage ( 24.20 m × 9.15 m ) and part of the cargo.

Historical context

At the time of the Southern Song (南宋) from 1126 to 1279 AD, China was a centrally steered bureaucratic state with a distinct urban culture and high importance of trade. It was in constant defense against Northern Rider Peoples ( Xixia, Liao and Jin ), it was followed by a focus on South China. However, it was also time of great innovations and inventions, both military and civilian (such as the compass) nature. This concentration was accompanied by the increasing importance of marine and maritime trade. China now had a powerful ocean-going marine and inland waterways.

Quanzhou (泉州) was at the time of the Song Dynasty, the main port city in China. She stood in the center of an international Seehandelnetzes with direct connections to Arabia. Archaeological finds indicate the presence of numerous peoples and religions in the city ( Christians, Taoists, Muslims, Buddhists, Manichaeans and Hindus ).


The hull obtained has a keel twelve Scots and a solid planking. The side walls consist of a complex two-to three-layer planking that forms clinker similar steps.


The keel (Chinese龙骨, Pinyin lónggǔ, dragon skeleton ') was threefold: Front keel (made from camphor tree ); Main keel ( from Chinese pine); rear Kiel ( Camphor tree). The keel segments were connected by a splice of tabs with wooden pins. Between the center and rear keel Recesses were seven coins and a bronze mirror, it is in a traditional Chinese shipbuilding tradition ( Bao shou kong ) founded.


The transom consisted of three heavy beams. Originally, he still had a slight layered wood paneling. A bar is provided with a large circular recess, which started the rudder no longer obtained.

Mast track

The ship has two mast tracks, a smaller mast track on the first bulkhead and a larger mast track for recording the main mast. The mast tracks each have two recesses, one on the left and right of center. In them were probably of wood, which were connected to the mast and fixed him thus.


The planking was in a complex " folding clinker and folding caravel " - performed construction. It has both flush transitions as well as clinker similar steps. Furthermore it has the planking different thicknesses: from keel starting initially two-layer, three-layer planking then ( inner main planks should be protected by external ). The planks of plank gangs were connected by tabs and the strakes fitted into each other by folding. The individual layers and strakes were fastened together by iron nails, which were provided with a waterproof protective lacquer, which were struck obliquely from the upper outer plank to the lower and inner plank. The nails were manufactured in proto- industrial sites in the area Quanzhou.

For the outside planks were camphor tree and used for the inner fir planks.


The ship of Quanzhou had a total of 12 Scots. They consisted of several superimposed boards, which has additionally been strongly fixed and has been closely connected by metal brackets and with wooden stringers. The transition to the planking is, due to the very careful preparation of the bulkhead edges, seamless. The Scots were connected to the planking by nails and L- shaped metal brackets ( guaju ). As the material for the Scots fir was chosen.


The sails were indeed no longer even get the ship from Quanzhou, but leaves a unique sailing Fund of another song -temporal wrecks the assumption that the sailing of the ship from Quanzhou consisted of a bamboo weave.


The cargo consisted mainly of timber and from produced for export porcelain.


The ship of Quanzhou is currently not possible to visit, as the boat hall is being renovated, but can it through the outside windows look (as of March 2013).