Along the site of an old construction site, a group of Chinese scientists found the muddy remains of a wooden ship that dated back more than 700 years to the era of Genghis Khan.
The 70-ft long vessel housed more than 100 artifacts, according to the paper published by Chinese Cultural Relics.
According to the archaeologists, the ship dated back to the Yuan dynasty (circa 1271-1368). It housed a shrine, a captain’s cabin, crew quarters, cargo compartments and a control room that also held a kitchen. In the shrine, they found incense burner and stone-carved figurines of “arhats.” Buddhist culture regard these as enlightened individuals. They also found several motifs including a colorful jar depicting a dragon and a phoenix.
The ship also held “artifacts of porcelain, pottery, lacquer-ware, jade, stone, iron, bronze and gold,” wrote the scientists in the paper.
In the kitchen, they found an iron stove, an iron pot, an iron ladle and a wooden cutting board.
But how was this 700-year old time capsule of ancient Chinese culture preserved?
The team wrote in the paper, “During a relatively short period of time after the accident, the silt beneath the shipwreck was washed away by the current, [and] the shipwreck continued to sink to 1 m to 2 m [3.3 feet to 6.6 feet] below the original riverbed, then stabilized at its current location. Silt and mud were then deposited over it, and the shipwreck was completely buried.”