Detail: This exhibition brings the precious contents of a shipwreck discovered off Belitung Island in the Java Sea to American audiences for the first time. The remarkable cargo of spice-filled jars and all together more than 60,000 ceramics produced in China during the Tang dynasty (618–907), plus luxury items of gold and silver, was bound for Iran and Iraq. Selected objects illustrate the story of the active exchange of goods, ideas, and culture in Asia more than one thousand years ago. The exhibition will bring to light how this discovery—one of the most important archaeological revelations of the twentieth century—has changed the way we understand ninth-century Asia.
Secrets of the Sea: A Tang Shipwreck and Trade in Early Asia is jointly organized with the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore. Objects are from the Khoo Teck Puat Gallery, Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore. The Tang Shipwreck Collection was made possible by the generous donation of the Estate of Khoo Teck Puat in honor of the Late Khoo Teck Puat.