The Tang Shipwreck collection at the ACM comprises a fascinating collection of 9th century cargo recovered from the Java Sea, southeast of Singapore. The gallery tells the story of the exchange of goods, ideas, and culture in the region around Singapore more than 1,100 years ago.
Discovered in 1998, the shipwreck was found off Belitung Island in the Java Sea. It contained a remarkable cargo of more than 60,000 ceramics produced in China during the Tang dynasty (618 to 907 AD), as well as luxurious objects of gold and silver. Bound for Iran and Iraq, the ship provides early proof of strong commercial links between China, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.
The Tang Shipwreck reveals that the region lay at the heart of a global trading network in the 9th century. The success of Singapore as an exchange point of global shipping thus has ancient roots. As the wreck was submerged in the sea, objects were required to be de-salinated for two years before they were fit for display.
The Tang Shipwreck collection was acquired through a generous donation from the Estate of Khoo Teck Puat, in honour of the late Khoo Teck Puat.