John Guy, Curator of South and Southeast Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, has extensively researched all early shipwrecks discovered in insular Southeast Asia. He lives in New York City. Regina Krahl, an expert in the Chinese production of high-quality ceramics and their export markets, has published widely in the field.
CHOICE The shipwreck discovered off the Indonesian island of Belitung provides the most important material evidence of the seafaring trade between China and the Arab world in the ninth century. The ship itself was Arab by construction. Having been loaded up in south China, it went under while en route, probably to the Near East. Of the more than 60,000 items discovered, most were ceramics from Changsha. In addition, there were pieces from the Ding and Yue kilns. Other types of finds include bronze mirrors and gold and silver wares. The high quality and large quantity of these export goods stand in testimony to the strength of Tang China as the dominant manufacturing power in East Asia, a position unchallenged by any neighboring country. It is particularly remarkable, given that in the course of the ninth century the Tang Empire was on its way to political decline and disintegration. This volume is the catalogue of an exhibition on the shipwreck mounted in Singapore in 2011. The book contains a number of well-researched articles on the shipwreck and its cargo by archaeologists and art historians. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels/libraries. --V. C. Xiong, Western Michigan University