Friday, 29 January 2016

Nanhai No 1

A barge carrying the wreck of the 800-year-old sunken merchant ship 'Nanhai No.1' (or 'South China Sea No. 1'), sails on the South China Sea on December 24, 2007 in Yangjiang of Guangdong Province, China
More than 14,000 objects have so far been salvaged from Nanhai No 1, the ancient Chinese cargo ship which sank in the South China Sea about 800 years ago. The relics contain hoards of gold, silver, copper and ceramic artifacts.

Most recent excavations at the shipwreck have yielded tens of thousands of copper coins and porcelain objects such as pots, bottles, bowls and plates.

The 30-meter wooden vessel, discovered in 1987, contains at least 60,000 artifacts, including gold, silver and porcelain trading goods. "The cargo composition of the vessel is clearer and the diversity is rich," said Liu Chengji, at the Marine Silk Road museum in Yangjiang, Guangdong province, about 2,300 km south of Beijing.

The wreck of Nanhai No 1 is on permanent display at the museum which was specially built to house it.

At the museum, the shipwreck has been placed in an aquarium with the same natural conditions as the spot in which it was discovered.
Built between 1127 and 1279AD, Nanhai No.1 was a wooden merchant ship of Southern Song Dynasty. It is the earliest, largest and best preserved merchant ship for ocean trade of the sunken ships discovered in the region around the South China Sea.

Friday, 22 January 2016

High Insect Jewels - Live Insect Jewelry

Live insect jewellry refers to jewellry, made from living creatures - usually bejewelled oversized insects- which is worn as a fashion accessory. The use of insects as live jewellry has existed for many centuries, with the Egyptians believed to have been the first to have worn insects as jewelry.

Ancient Egyptian soldiers commonly wore scarab beetles into battle as the beetles were considered to have supernatural powers of protection against enemies.
In 2010 U.S. customs officers stopped a woman on her way into the country because she was wearing a jewel-encrusted beetle as a brooch - and it was alive.

She declared the live insect to officials and said she had bought it in Mexico as a brooch but it was immediately confiscated by pest control. Moving live plant pests in any form into or out of the U.S. has to be declared to customs.
Live jewelry has been featured in Mayan cultural traditions for centuries.

It was not until the 1980s however that the Mexican Maquech Beetle, a sub-species of the Zopherus beetle, achieved mainstream popularity as live jewelry. The Maquech Beetle is a large, docile, wingless insect.