INI HANYA CUPLIKAN INFO TANPA ILUSTRASI LENGKAP
TEMUAN KERAMIK KERAJAAN TIONGKOK
Bab Pengantar Kedua
Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA
Fotografer Albert Suwandy Djohan Oertama
Hasil Penelitian kepustakaan dan lapangan
Edisi Khusus Terbatas Buku Elektronik Dalam CD-Rom
Hanya Untuk Kalangan Terbatas
Hak Cipta @ Dr Iwan 2015
ill 1*Vase Kontraversial Qing Kang-Hsi Chenghua dengan meniru seni lukis artistic Ming Cheng Hua temuan Indonesia
* Illustrasi nomor 1
Pengantar Bagian Kedua
Setelah hampir lima puluh tahun mengumpulkan pecahan dan keramik dari berbagai Negara khususnya dari Tiongkok, terutama dari Kerajaan Tiongkok yang di temukan di seluruh Indonesia terutama sari era Dinas asti Yuan, Ming dan Qing di Sumatera , Jawa , Kalimantan ,Sulawesi dan Maluku.
Pada hari ini saya memberanikan diri memaparkan hasil penelitian penelitian studi perbandingan keindahan lukisan Pelukis keramik kerajaan Tiongkok dengan Lukisan Pelukis Dunia saat ini .
Semoga hasil temuan ini dapat berguna bagi para kolektor di Indonesia dalam menyususn koleksinya sehingga terhindar dari koleksi barang baru atau Reproduksi yang sangat banyak beredar di Indonesia.
Pada beberapa tahun terakhir banyak ditemukan keramik kerajaan Tiongkok mulai dari dinasti Han,Tang,.Sung, Yuan,Ming dan Qing serta dinasti kecil lainnya diantara dinasti tersebut.
Temuan tersebut baik berupa pecahan yang dapat dijadikan dasar untuk perbandingan keaslian bagi temuan yang utuh.
Keindahan disain dan tehnik melukis para pelukis pabrik keramik dari Istana Kaisar Kerajaan Tiongkok akan dibandingkan dengan Keindahan disain dan tehnik Para Pelukis tingkat dunia teruta akliran impresionis yang aya ambil dari buku-buku lukisan lama edisi diatas lima puluh tahun dimana hak cipta berada ditangan pemilik koleksi dalam hal ini saya pribadi.
Memang menurut pakar Keramik Sumirah Adyatma ( maaf apabila ejaan namanya keliru) , pengarang dan Kurator Musuem Keramik Adam Malik (museum sudah tidak ada lagi) dan Buku Koleksi Keramik Adam Malik, manyatakan bahwa mustahil dapat memaparkan disain dan jenis motif keramik kerajaan Tiongkok khususnya keramik biru-putih yang jumlah dan jenisnya nya sangat banyak.sehingga ia hanya menampilkan koleksi berdasar era dan bentuk saja serta sebagian disain keramik monokrome saja.
Kendatipun demikian saya jelah berjuang selama kurun waktu lama untuk menyatakan tidak ada yang mustahil di dunia ini asal kita mau karena Jenis DNA saja sudah berhasil dibuatkan melalui projek bersama tingkat dunia Huamn Genome dan saya secara pribadi eorang diri akan berusaha memecahkan rekor yang tentunya akan dapat dikutip oleh Gueness record sebagai jenis dan disain yang paling banyak dimiliki seorang koklektor swasta di tingkat dunia.
Saya telah menyusun sebuah CD-Rom yangberisi jenis,type dan desain keramik Tiongkok asli yang pernah ditemukan d ndonesia dibandingkan dengan jenis distain dan tehnik lukisan artisitk tingkat dunia miik saya prinadi.
Selamat membaca dan melihat koleksi yang saya pernah temukan di Inonesia.
Semoga para kolektor Indonesia jadi lebih semangat dan giat berburu kemaik antic yang dapat memberikan anda suatu kepuasan baik moril maupun materiel.
Tak Lupa saya ucapkan terima kasih kepada berbagai pihak yang telah banyak membantu saya, terutama Isteri saya Lily Widjaja yang telah menberikan dorongan moril dan materiel , Purtra saya Albert sang fotofrager dan Anton Jimmi Suwnadi .
Serta banyak lagi yang saya tidak dapat menyebut namanya satu persatu karena berbagai alasan ,juga kepada seluruh keluarga saya lainnya .
Buku ini tidak dijual kepada para pedagang karena akan menyebabkan mereka akan menaikan harga secara gila-gilaan seperti lukisan, dan kita para kolektor jadi tidak mampu memilikinya lagi serta hanya akan jadi impian saja.
Akhirnya terima kasih saya ucapkan kepada Bunda Maria,dan Tuhan Yang Maha Kuasa atas berkahnya saya mampu memiliki informasi yang amat penting dan langka ini.
CD-Rom ini agak mahal harganya disesuaikan denagn standar info saat ini satu informasi US$ 25,- ,walaupun demikian akan saya sesuaikan dengan situasi dengan kondisi di Indonesia, begitu juga jika pembaca ingin melihat museum kecil saya di Kelapa Gading Jakarta.
Jakarta Juni 2015
DR Iwan Suwandy,MHA
Cuplikan Pengantar Bagian Pertama
Setelah hampir lima puluh tahun mengumpulkan pecahan dan keramik utuh dari berbagai Negara khususnya dari Tiongkok , terutama Era Kerajaan Tiongkok yang di temukan di seluruh Indonesia terutama di Sumatera ,Jawa,Kalimantan ,Sulwesi dan Maluku.
Pada hari ini saya memberanikan diri menampilkan hasil penelitian tersebut, semoga hasil temuan ini dapat berguna bagi para kolektor di Indonesia dalam menyususn koleksinya sehingga terhindar dari koleksi barang baru atau Reproduksi yang sangat banyak beredar di Indonesia.
Pada beberapa tahun terakhir banyak ditemukan keramik Kerajaan Tiongkok mulai dari dinasti Han,Tang,.Sung, Yuan,Ming dan Qing serta dinasti kecil l diantara dinasti tersebut.
Temuan tersebut baik utuh atau pecahan yang dapat dijadikan dasar untuk perbandingan untukmenetukan keaslian keramik yang utuh.
Saya telah menyusun sebuah CD-Rom yang berisi jenis,tipe dan desain keramik Tiongkok asli yang pernah ditemukan di Indonesia
dan dibandingkan dengan Kepustakaan yang ada terutama dari katalogus lelangan.
Besar harapan saya para pemegang Hak Cipta tidak keberatan informasi mereka ditampilkan dalam buku ini guna dapat membuka misteri Keramik Kerajaan Tiongkok yang sampai saat ini masih sering diperdebatkan oleh para pakar Keramik Antik di Dunia, Maaf saya belum diakui secara Internasinal kecuali oleh beberapa orang saja dari Idonesia.
Buku Kepustakkan yang saya jadikan dasar untuk perbandingan adalah sebagaoi berikut Later Ming Ceramic karanga Jenny Soaes, Buku keramik Kerajjan Tiongkok (Chinese Imperial veramik) karangan , Buku Lukisan Impressionis. .
Demikianlah jerih payah saya selama lebih kurang lima puluh tahun, semoga para pembaca menghormati Hak Cipta Saya, dan pesan khusus untuk seluruh keluarga saya peliharalah temuan yang langka ini walaupun sebagian besar dari dinasti Ming Awal ,Ming Wanli, serta dnasti Qing .
Buku ini akan dirilis saat pembukaan Museum Leluhur Indonesia WLS (WANLI & SONS)
Selamat membaca dan melihat koleksi yang saya pernah temukan di Inonesia, semoga para kolektor Indonesia jadi lebih semangat dan giat berburu keramik antik yang dapat memberikan anda suatu kepuasan baik moril maupun materiel.
Buku ditulis dalam bahasa Indonesia dan bahasa Inggris sesuai dengan jenis Info yang diperoleh atau sesuai aslinya tidak diterjemahkan agar tidak ada kekeliruan dn buku ini umumnya ditujukan bagi bangsa Indonesia, jika cukup banyak peminatnya akan diterjemahkan kedalam bahasa Inggris secaara keselurhannya.
Tak Lupa saya ucapkan terima kasih kepada berbagai pihak yang telah banyak membantu saya, mohon maaf saya tidak dapat menyebut namanya satu persatu karena berbagai alas an ,juga kepada seluruh keluarga saya.
Buku ini tidak dijual kepada para pedagang karena akan menyebabkan mereka akan menaikan harga secara gila-gilaan seperti lukisan, dan kita para kolektor jadi tidak mampu memilikinya lagi serta hanya akan jadi impian saja.
Sebenarnya saya telah memegang salahsatu lukisan asli karaya maestro pelukis dunia Vincent van Gohh ,tetapi karena tidak menjadari lukisan dirinya saat masih anak-anak yang aya temukan di Bukittinggi dengan namanya hanya tertera Vincent, maka luputlah koleksi tersebut dan katanya telah dibeli oleh bangsa asing dan tentunya sekarang ia sudah kaya raya dan koleksi itu telah ada di museum di Eropa, krena itu bila saya ada filling terhadpad keramik yag sangat indah, saat ini saya telah berani berspekulasi dan inilah temuannya.
Akhirnya terima kasih saya ucapkan kepada Bunda Maria,dan Tuhan Yang Maha Kuasa atas berkahnya saya mampu memiliki informasi yang amat penting dan langka ini..
Jakarta Mai 2015
DR Iwan Suwandy,MHA
OLD ANCIENT TRANSPORTASI
CATATAN AKHIR PENGATAR BAGIAN KEDUA
KOLEKSI KERAMIK KERAJJAN TIONGKOK TEMUAN INDONESIA DIBANDINGKAN DENGAN KOLEKSI POSTER LUKISAN PELUKIS TINGKAT DUNIA DARI BUKU ANTIK
MILIK Dr Iwaan Suwnady,MHA
KOLEKSI INI HANYA SEBAGIAN SAJA, UNTUK DAPAT MELIHAT SELURUHNYA SILAHKAN MAMPIR D MUSEUM
LELUHUR TIONGHOA WLS(WANLI&SONS)
PONDOK GADING JAKARTA UTARA
TAMPILAN KOLEKSI INI SECARA ACAK TIDAK MENCERMINKAN PERINGKAT KEHEBATAN DAN KELANGKAAN KOLEKSI SELURUH KOLEKSI SANGAT LANGKA DAN ANGAT BERHARGA.
MARILAH KITA KENANG MEREKA PARA MAESTRO PELUKIS BAIK DARI ISTANA KAISAR TIONGKOM DAN MAUPUN PELUKIS MAESTRO TINGKAT DUNIA
MEREKA TELAH MEMPERSEMBAHKAN KARYA BESAR YANG SANGAT INDAH YANG MENCERMINKAN PENGARUH PENCIPTANYA JUNJUNGAN KITA TUHAN YANG MAHA ESA..
SEMOGA ANDA SEMU PUAS, DAN SEMOGA KOLEKSI INI DAPAT DILESTARIKAN SELAMA-LAMANYA. WALAUPUN MNGKIN ADA YANG SUDAH DIJUAL UNTUK KEPENTINGAN PEMBANGUNAN MUSEUM, TETAPI FOTONYA MASIH ADA DALAM BUKU INI.
Jakarta Juni 2015
Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA
KERAMIK KERAJAAN TIONGKPOK YANG DITEMUKAN DI INDONESIA
BAB PENGANTAR KETIGA
JENIS DAN TYPE ARTIFAK KAPAL KARAM
Dr Iwan suwandy,MHA
Berdasarkan Laporan Para Pakar Arkeologi
Khusus untuk Kolektor dan Peneliti Senior
Untuk menutup bab Pengantar saya merasa perlu mencari informaasi tentang jenis dan type artifak Temuan Kapal Kram di Indonesia dan daerah lainnya yang berasal dari Kapal milik kerajaan Tiongkok. Info ini esuai dengan aslinya dengan huruf yang sangat halus dan kecil bagi yang mau membacanya dipersilahkan untuk membesarkannya pada computer anda karena info ini sangat bayak jika dibesarkan sangat sulit untuk ditampilkan.
Semoga setelah membaca info dari Bab Pengantar ini para kolektor keramik akan menjadi levih mengenal aspekl arkeologis dari keramik yang diekspor oleh Kerajaan Tiongkok masa lalu.
Mohon pemilik info berkenan infonya ditamplkan agar para kolektor menjadi paham bagaimana sebebanrnya situasi kapal karam tempo dulu yang berasal dari kerajaan Tiongkok.
Jakarta Mei 2015
Dr Iwan Suwandy,MHA
Treasure from Java shipwreck being auctioned
Treasure from a 1000 year old shipwreck is being auctioned in Indonesia.
The auctioneers hope to realise $US80 million from the sale of items including porcelain vases from Chinese dynasties, gold jewellery and swords with Arabic inscriptions.
The treasure was discovered off the coast of Java. The BBC reports it is believed to be one of the biggest finds ever made in Asia.
The proceeds are to be shared between the government and the team that recovered the goods.
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North York Mirror
Artifacts from the earliest and most significant Arab shipwreck discovered will be on display during an exhibit at the Aga Khan Museum.
The Lost Dhow: A Discovery From the Maritime Silk Route, will be held at the Wynford Drive museum Dec. 19 to April 26, marking its North American premiere.
Jointly organized by the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore, the Singapore Tourism Board, and the Aga Khan Museum, the exhibit of ninth-century Chinese artifacts offers a glimpse of rare Tang dynasty objects from the shipwreck found in Southeast Asia in 1998.
Found in shallow water off Belitung Island between Sumatra and Borneo in the western Java Sea by a fisherman diving for sea cucumbers, the dhow (the generic name of traditional sailing vessels with at least one mast used in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean regions) spent 1,200 years on the ocean floor before being discovered. The dhow was traced to the ninth century based on radiocarbon testing and age of the cargo.
It’s believed the dhow’s load of Chinese ceramics indicate its destination was likely the Middle East, but the fact it was found in the Java Sea raises questions about where exactly it was headed.
No human remains were found, but the dhow was filled with 57,500 Chinese ceramics, along with gold, silver and bronze objects. The exhibit is made up of 137 of those pieces.
“The aim of the museum is to make art of the Muslim civilization better known,” said Henry Kim, director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum, during a media preview of the exhibit Wednesday, Dec. 10. “I believe the Lost Dhow will do just that.”
Highlights of the exhibition include:
- A green-splashed ewer featuring a handle in the form of a lion with a dragon-head spout and ringhandled cups, among nearly 200 pieces of white ceramics decorated with splashes of bright green that were found with other higher-value items of cargo from the Belitung shipwreck. Chemical analysis of broken pieces from the wreck suggests they were produced at the Gongxian kilns in Henan Province, renowned for its undecorated white wares.
- A white ware cup stand, among about 300 pieces of white-glazed wares made in northern China at the Xing and Ding kilns in Hebei Province. High-fired white wares approaching porcelain in translucency and hardness were an innovation of northern Chinese kilns during the Tang dynasty. Highly prized by Chinese aristocrats because of their perceived similarity to luxury silver dishes, these wares were also coveted in foreign markets, particularly in West Asia where they were imitated.
- A gold cup, which is completely unique among the items recovered from the cargo. Gold acquired great value in Chinese culture during the Tang dynasty.
Other items on display include kilns, bowls, kettles, tweezers and a needle, gold bracelets, a grindstone and roller, silver boxes with lids, gold dishes, an incense burner, Chinese coins, and a mirror with mythical animals.
“Hundreds of shipwrecks are in the water in Asia,” said Alan Chong, director of Singapore’s Asian Civilisations Museum, who flew in for the preview. “They tell an interesting history of trade, but (information) is not all there. Was (the dhow) blown off route? What role did Southeast Asia play? This is what we in Singapore think of. My hope is people come away with a series of questions.”
John Vollmer, the exhibit’s guest curator, called the wreck a “journey gone awry.”
“There is a solid gold cup made in China and we don’t know why it’s there,” he said. “We don’t know how (merchants) communicated or how financing worked. Someone at port gave up hope and return on that investment. This is a window into the unknown.”
For more information, visit www.agakhanmuseum.org
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JAVA SEA WRECK
PACIFIC SEA RESOURCES
THE JAVA SEA WRECK ARCHAEOLOGICAL REPORT TABLE OF CONTENTS 1.0 Introduction 1 1.1 Objectives 1 1.2 Locating the Wreck 1 1.3 Political Considerations 4
2.0 Historical Background 5
2.1 China’s Position in the Nan Hai Trade from 500 B.C. Through the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 906) 5 2.2 Trade Interaction During the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960-1260) 18 2.3 Trade Interaction During the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 1260-1367) 23 2.4 Trade Commodities 27 2.5 Monetary System 30
3.0 Archaeological Program 34
3.1 Archaeological Objectives 34 3.2 Recovery Vessel and Diving System 36 3.3 Excavation Techniques 43 3.4 Photographic Procedures 46
3.5 Registration System 50
3.6 Ceramics and Artifact Handling Procedure 53
3.7 Conservation 56 4.0 Site Conditions 58 4.1 Site Description 58 4.2 Oceanographic and Meteorological Conditions 59 4.3 Environmental Monitoring and Marine Life 60 5.0 The Wrecking Process 64 6.0 Interpreting the Ship 67 6.1 Hull Structure 67 6.2 Stowage Pattern and Cargo Capacity 70
6.3 Wood Identification 71
6.4 Identifying the Ship 72 6.5 Dating the Ship 76
7.0 Artifacts 77 7.1 Iron 77 7.2 Ivory 80 7.3 Resin 81 7.4 Balance Weights and Bars 81 7.5 Figurines and Finials 83 7.6 Trays 85 7.7 Gongs 86 7.8 Copper Ingots 87 7.9 Miscellaneous Copper Alloy Artifacts 88 7.10 Glassware 89 7.11 Rocks 91 7.12 Sharpening Stones 92 7.13 Organic Finds 93 7.14 Tin Ingots 94 8.0 The Iron Industry and Trade 95
8.1 The History of Iron Production in Asia 95
8.2 Iron-Making Technology 97
8.3 Historical and Archaeological Parallels 99
8.4 Analysis of Iron from the Wreck 101
9.0 High-Fired Ceramics of Song Dynasty China: The Java Sea Cargo
in Context 103 9.1 Introduction 103
9.2 China’s Supremacy 103
9.3 Sources and Properties of Clay 104
9.4 Firing Temperatures 105
9.5 Glazes 105 9.6 High-Temperature Glazes 106 9.7 Glaze Color 106 9.8 The Java Sea Ceramics Cargo 107
10.0 Thirteenth-Century Potting Techniques: as Evidenced by the
Java Sea Cargo 110 10.1 Collecting and Preparing the Materials 110 10.2 Preparing the Glaze 110 10.3 Furnishing the Kiln 111 10.4 Making the Molds 111 10.5 The Potter’s Wheel 111 10.6 Finishing the Form 112 10.7 Decoration 112 10.8 Firing 112 10.9 Illustrating the Potting Process 11311.0 Ceramics Inventory 116 11.1 Painted Ware 116 11.2 Black-Glazed Ware 130 11.3 Molded White/Qingbai Ware 131 11.4 Qingbai Ware 137 11.5 Celadon and Olive-Glazed Ware 149 11.6 Decorated Green-Glazed Ware 153 11.7 Undecorated Green-Glazed Ware 160 11.8 Brown-Glazed Ware 165 11.9 Indian-Style Earthenware 172 11.10 Miscellaneous Ceramics 178 12.0 Conclusion 182 Bibliography 185 Appendices 191 A. Artifact Database 191 B. Selected Pages from Artifact Registration Report 198 C. Artifact Distribution Plan 203 D. Ceramics Distribution Plots 205 E. List of Marine Species 218 F. Soil Analysis Data 223 G. Wood Identification 231 H. C14 Dating of Resin 241 I. Tin Ingot Analysis 244 J. Iron Analysis 257 K. Project Personnel 261 L. Acknowledgments 265
1.1 Objectives and Results
In March 1996 Pacific Sea Resources (PSR) learned of a shipwreck in the Java Sea. The wreck had a cargo of iron and thirteenth-century Song dynasty Chinese ceramics. It became known as the Java Sea Wreck. Through Indonesian partner PT Sulung Segarajaya, PSR was awarded a license to salvage the Java Sea Wreck in July 1996. During August a barge, tug, equipment and personnel were mobilized in Singapore. Departure was on 28 August, and after clearing in at Belitung the excavation vessel was anchored over the wreck site on 30 August 1996. Excavation took two months. On 29 October the anchors were retrieved and the barge and finds returned to Singapore, arriving there on 4 November. In a conservation laboratory in Singapore, the ceramics cargo was cleaned, desalinated, and then systematically shelved for cataloguing and study. This Archaeological Report details the historical background at the time of the loss, describes the archaeological methods that were used to excavate and document the wreck, and discusses the site, the ship, and the likely wrecking process. It presents the artifacts and ceramics in inventory form and goes on to study the context of the finds in time and place. The iron cargo, the most extensive ever discovered on a ship of this era, is discussed in terms of the history and technology of iron production in Asia. The ceramics present a wonderful cross section of export wares from southern China. Over half of the ceramics cargo consists of simple, utilitarian bowls and dishes, provincial ware for day-to-day use. At the other end of the spectrum are exquisitely molded qingbai (pale blue) ewers with dragon handles and rare Cizhou-type ewers and bowls, obviously meant for the elite. In between are dozens of varieties of fine bowls, dishes, vases, bottles, boxes, and jars, in all shades from white through green to blue. None of the ship’s structure has survived. However, from evidence gleaned from the iron concretions and fragments of wood, it seems that the ship was of Thai origin. The primary cargo of iron cauldrons and bars was loaded in holds the full length of the ship. Tens of thousands of ceramics from the kilns of southern China were stowed on top of the iron. The ship then made its way south along the coastal route, possibly stopping in Vietnam, Thailand, and Sumatra, where it traded for ivory, earthenware kendis, and aromatic resins. Having passed through the treacherous Banka Strait, it headed on towards eastern Java where the Majapahit empire was taking shape. But for reasons never to be discovered, it sank in the Java Sea, well short of its final destination.
1.2 Locating the Wreck
The wreck lies in the northwest region of the Java Sea. There is no land in sight. There is no bottom trawling. And yet fishermen found the shipwreck and can return to it again and again. It is thought to have been first discovered in the late 1980s. It is most likely that birds gave away the position that had remained a secret for over seven hundred years. Birds feed on schools of fish that are attracted to the wreck. On an otherwise featureless sandy seabed, a wreck provides food and shelter for huge schools of fish and large individuals – a place for corals,
sponges, and oyster shells to thrive. Birds are always feeding on schools of fish, but most of the schools are pelagic and therefore move around. Fish over a wreck stay in more or less the same location. When fishermen observe birds feeding for a long time in one location, it is a very good sign that a wreck lies below.
The fishermen are usually more interested in fish than the wreck itself. They keep the position to themselves, as it provides a continuous supply of red snapper and grouper. Their ability to relocate the site is remarkable, considering the birds are only there on the rare occasions that the schools of fish come to the surface. In the case of the Java Sea Wreck the closest navigation marker is an offshore oil-production platform more than thirty miles away. By steaming for, say, four hours at 10° from the platform, they come to the area using only a watch and a rudimentary compass as instruments. Sometimes they go straight to it and confirm the location by catching reef fish where normally there would only be pelagic species. Otherwise, they drop a marker buoy and do a slow search using a lead bar on a rope. When the bar hits an iron hull, a ballast stone, or a piece of porcelain, they can feel it and confirm it by fresh marks in the lead. In no time they are anchored over the site, pulling snapper in one after the other. It is normally only a matter of time before a hook snags on the bottom and, when pulled free, comes to the surface with a lump of iron concretion or a ceramic shard. Many of the fishermen in the southern portion of the Java Sea live on a few islands in the Thousand Island Group just north of Jakarta. Several of them are also sea cucumber and aquarium fish divers and have small compressors rigged on their boats. These divers are also on the lookout for shipwrecks, which abound in the Indonesian archipelago. World War Two tin cargoes, Ming blue-and-white, and Song celadons are often recovered by these divers and disposed of very quietly. As soon as they heard that a ceramics shard had been fished up in the middle of the Java Sea, they headed for the site to salvage what they could. As there is no bottom trawling in the area, there must have been large numbers of intact ceramics on the wreck mound that could be easily recovered without any excavation equipment, such as airlifts. It is now known that much of the surface material was removed by fishermen. As an aside, some fishermen have admitted to using explosives on the site to catch fish before and after ceramics were recovered. The shock waves from the explosion kill the fish and just about every other living organism in the near vicinity. About a third of the dead fish float to the surface, where they are quickly snatched up. The other two-thirds sink to the bottom, where they are left or collected by fishermen with primitive diving equipment. Entire coral reef ecosystems are destroyed by this very short-sighted technique. The authorities are aware of the loss of national heritage caused by looting and dynamiting. Eventually, the navy got word of these activities and arrested the fishermen concerned. Aware that it was too risky to return to the site, the fishermen sold the position of the wreck to John Anderson, an American, who had been carrying out survey and salvage work in Indonesia for several years. Under contract to the Government, Anderson visited the location in a fishing boat in 1993 and recovered approximately 1,000 pieces during a preliminary investigation. The salvage company returned with a barge and excavation equipment in 1994 and in less than a month recovered an additional 7,000 ceramic items. The barge almost sank on the wreck and was towed back to Jakarta for major repairs. Shortly thereafter the company went into receivership for reasons unrelated to the shipwreck. In March 1996 Pacific Sea Resources carried out a brief survey of the wreck site, which suggested that a significant amount of hull structure and undisturbed cargo remained. Anderson then sold the rights to Pacific Sea Resources and a joint venture was established. Unfortunately, it was only after excavation was under way that Anderson informed Pacific Sea Resources that the wreck had been looted previously by enterprising local interests who had recovered at least 4,000 intact ceramic pieces, and that no hull structure remained.4
1.3 Political Considerations In order to carry out shipwreck excavation work in Indonesia, a salvage license must be awarded to a local company, by the national shipwreck committee, Panitia Nasional. Pacific Sea Resources formed the Indonesian company, PT Sulung Segarajaya, through Indonesian partners to apply for a license. With Pacific Sea Resources’ record of the successful archaeological excavation of the Manila galleon Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion in Saipan, Panitia Nasional readily accepted the application. Before the license could be awarded, however, approval had to be obtained from twenty-two Government departments. As soon
2.0 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND by Dr. John Miksic
2.1 China’s Position in the Nan Hai Trade from 500 B.C. through the
Tang Dynasty (A.D. 906)
2.1.1 Introduction In the year A.D. 100, a distant observer of the Earth would have seen humankind on the verge of an explosion of commercial activity. Between the Mediterranean, where the Roman Empire under the Caesars was at its height, and China, stable and prosperous under the Han Dynasty, the kingdoms of South Asia were encouraging foreign traders to come to their shores. Ivory and incense from India were used in Roman palaces. Traders from the Graeco-Roman regions established outposts along the southern coasts of India, where Roman coins and pottery have since been found. The British archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler, who excavated several of these sites, concluded that “it is fair to envisage Indo-European commerce of the first century A.D. pretty closely in terms of that of the seventeenth century” (Wheeler, 1954: 125). The Romans established trading companies with powers and procedures similar to those of the Dutch and British factory systems used in Asia over a thousand years later. The Indians formed similar groups. The members of the Indian trading corporations were “related by a common interest in trade that had to pass through a particular center …[T]hese traders were given royal charters” (Kosambi, 1959: 282). Indian trading guilds, engaged in the wholesale commerce of luxury goods, and maintained diplomatic relations with rulers of regions where those goods originated. The Chinese, however, were not yet party to this communication. Indeed, the Chinese maintained an attitude of aloofness and official disinterest until much later, that is, until events during the early Song dynasty (960-1279) conspired to bring about a change in the policy toward trade. It was then that China finally integrated into the trading system of the Nanhai (the Chinese phrase designating the Indian Ocean and South China Sea). But the nature of China’s participation in this ancient and sophisticated maritime trade network was unique. In order to understand the factors which shaped the trade of the South China Sea in the thirteenth century, it is necessary to understand the traditional Chinese perspective on trade in general, and on maritime commerce in particular.
2.1.2 Trade in the Indian Ocean, A.D. 100
Two major Mediterranean sources enable us to construct an outline of the early maritime trade system of Asia. One is a Geography written by the Alexandrian Greek astronomer, Claudius Ptolemaeus (Ptolemy), around the year A.D. 100. The second is an anonymous work entitled Periplus Marae Erythraensis, “Sailor’s Guide to the Indian Ocean,” written around the same time. These texts describe the commercial institutions of the Indian Ocean and show that commercial practices along the trade routes there had already been standardized. The main commodities known to be shipped over these routes were high in value and low in bulk. They included such items as spices, various kinds of incense, gold and silver, special textiles including silk, and items that are now mainly considered oddities but commanded high prices in those days such items as rhinoceros horn and kingfisher feathers.6
There were two basic sectors in the trade network: those in the Indian Ocean, lands “above the wind,” and those in the South China Sea and Straits of Malacca, lands “below the wind.” The traffic along these routes was governed by the regimen of the seasonal winds or monsoons. It was not possible to sail from one end of the route, such as the Persian Gulf/Red Sea area, to the other end, in China, in one voyage. The normal practice was for Indian ships to sail within the Indian Ocean as far east as the Straits of Malacca. From there, the voyage to China was undertaken in Southeast Asian ships. According to the normal rhythm of the winds, ships would sail from China to the Straits of Malacca area in January and February
. The voyage from Southeast Asia to China could be undertaken between June and August. Sailors left India for the Straits between April and August with the southwest monsoon. It was technically possible to sail to India on the same wind, but most ships only departed from the Straits for India in December or in January. So just as the ships from China would be returning to Sumatra or Java with their cargoes of silks and metal, the other ships would be leaving those islands on their way to India. Merchants from the two legs of the network would not meet unless they remained in the Straits for nearly a year. Ships did not usually stay over, but traders could. They changed from ship to ship in relays. The third leg of the triangle involved what is now eastern Indonesia, the sources of some of the rarest spices, specifically cloves and nutmeg. The ships from the Moluccas and Sulawesi usually left between May or June and October, arriving in the Straits or north Java about two months later. Until the Song dynasty, shipping in the South China Sea was a monopoly held by Southeast Asians, of whom the people of what is now Indonesia formed the majority. The people of Java and Sumatra were the ancient sailors of the world par excellence. Their relatives settled the lands from Hawaii to Madagascar, off the west coast of Africa. Huge ships known as kolandiaphonta came from the eastern seas; these seem to have been non-Indian, and were almost certainly from Java or Sumatra. Indian ships by contrast seem to have been largely coastal vessels.
2.1.3 Emporia: The Treaty Ports The Graeco-Roman texts cited here use a precise word to designate an international trading port in the Indian Ocean: emporion, which of course has come down to us in modern English as emporium. The Periplus mentions 27 emporia in the Indian Ocean, divided into three classes: “designated,” “lawful,” and “authorized” (Miller, 1969: 19, Schoff, 1912: 51, n. 1; Warmington, 1928:53). The distinctions between these categories are unclear, but the general term means “a legal mart where foreign trade is allowed and taxed.” Ptolemy, describing the India seas and non-Roman but well-known territory, intends emporion to mean an authorized coastal mart in the Orient where non-Roman dues were levied by non-Roman authorities (Warmington, 1928: 107). Ships calling at other ports might be escorted away under armed guard. Emporia existed from the Red Sea to Southeast Asia. Graeco-Roman traders resided as far east as south India. Some Tamil kings even possessed bodyguards from “Yavana” (from “Ionia,” an old name for part of Greece). Rome exported glass and wine to India, and grain was shipped from the Roman colony of Egypt, but most of the spices and silks had to be purchased with gold and other metallic money. 7
As previously mentioned, Roman coins are found in many sites of this first period of large-scale Asian trade in India. It is interesting to note that Roman emperors as early as Vespasian, A.D. 78, complained that the trade in luxury goods was draining currency out of the empire. The same problem arose many centuries later, when the British, in order to finance their imports of tea and porcelain, forced the Chinese to accept opium in lieu of metals. A few Roman artifacts have even turned up in sites in Southeast Asia, especially at Oc-eo in southern Vietnam, apparently the major trading center in the South China Sea from the second through the fifth centuries. The Roman trading stations in south India survived at the most for about 200 years. Then they fade out of history, as the empire began its long, slow decline. Even after Rome fell, however, the name “Rum” continued to shine with a bright luster in Asia. The Byzantine Empire was also known by this name, and coins from fifth-century Byzantium are common discoveries at sites of this period in Sri Lanka (Wolters, 1967: 80). Europe forgot completely about its earlier involvement with Asia for a thousand years and sank back into the darkness of the Middle Ages, when all that remained of the early long-distance trade were a few legends of fabulous wealth in the distant East. The story has an interesting postscript. In 1410, a Byzantine-era copy of Ptolemy’s Geography was discovered in a library in Florence and was translated into Latin. This translation was studied at the Academy at Sagres established by Prince Henry the Navigator. The information it contained, although more than a thousand years old, provided a vital stimulus to the planning of the explorations of the south coast of Africa which culminated in the Portuguese discovery of the Cape of Good Hope and the route to India. This episode is one of the most intriguing examples of the use to which ancient classical literature was put upon its rediscovery during the Renaissance, and the clear connection between the beginnings of European commercial expansion into Asia (and accidentally into America) and the birth of European humanistic studies.
2.1.4 While Europe Slept
The period that concerns us here is that between the fall of Rome and the arrival in the Far East of their distant descendants, the Portuguese. During this thousand-year phase of development, only now attracting historians’ attention, the Asian maritime trade fared extremely well without European involvement or, indeed, awareness. Very few Asian records of this long interim survive, and those that do tend to be written in archaic or extinct languages and deal mainly with ritual and politics. The principal exception is Marco Polo, who traveled the entire length of the Asian maritime trade route during his return from Yuan-dynasty China to Italy in 1292-93. Polo’s descriptions of this world seemed so unbelievable to his contemporaries that for centuries his tales were thought to be imaginary. Only in the early twentieth century when archaeological discoveries begin to corroborate his reports did historians begin to take his account seriously. Although one author has recently challenged the current view that Polo was recounting a true story, the vast weight of evidence suggests that he was in fact attempting to do no more than record what he had actually seen and done.
The very earliest reports from the Graeco-Romans depict a system whose framework continued to exist right up to the twentieth century. This system was highly efficient, given the technology and communications of the time, in distributing goods over an enormous stretch of coastline. The main elements of the system included the designation of certain ports as open to foreign traders and others as closed, the Roman emporia. This characteristic was obviously
designed to ensure that the benefits of the trade would accrue to certain people, namely the rulers of the regions concerned. In traditional kingdoms the more distant parts of the realm could not be trusted to send the customs duties collected from foreign merchants to the central treasury.
Furthermore, the wealth accumulated by merchants could well be used to mount a challenge to the established ruling clique. For these reasons, the main ports where foreign trade was allowed were those most closely supervised by the principal ruler, who might reside inland, in the center of the more fertile agricultural zones of the kingdom. In the port zones, the foreign merchants usually had their own quarters. These would correspond to the foreign quarters of the treaty ports of nineteenth-century China. Within these quarters the foreign communities enjoyed more or less complete autonomy, as long as they did not interfere with the rest of the citizens of the kingdom. This arrangement suited both parties: the foreigners were allowed to follow their own customs and religion, and the local administration did not have to worry about trying to control motley groups of people with different languages and legal systems. The trading system itself is difficult to define, but in essence there seem to have been two separate sets of exchange practices for different categories of merchandise. The “rare and precious” items (in the stock Chinese phrase) were coveted by the wealthy as status symbols, and the rulers often limited access to them. Some were claimed as monopolies of the ruler himself; in other cases, he claimed a duty of up to 30%, and the rest of the luxury goods could only be sold to a designated group of buyers. The possession of such luxury goods obviously had political symbolism, and the rulers did all they could to control their distribution. This category of merchandise was usually not bought and sold in the usual fashion, by a process of haggling until a bargain was struck between buyer and seller. Instead, a customary or diplomatic procedure was used to negotiate a set of “equivalencies” between the items brought by the foreign merchants and those returned by the local inhabitants. The ideology of exchange was more of a generalized than a specific reciprocity, in anthropological terms. It was not seemly to perceive this kind of exchange as trade. In most instances the foreign items were presented to the local ruler in the guise of tribute or gifts, and the local ruler reciprocated by giving presents. The nature of the gifts returned by the rulers was, however, fixed by custom; a certain amount of foreign produce would elicit a specific quantity of “gifts.” Thus the appearance of trade (and the use of money) were avoided. The second category of exchange involved more utilitarian items. These are even less well documented than the luxury items, but stray references to the transport of bulk necessities such as rice and salt are found in the earliest sources. It seems that these found their way into markets where money was used. Many forms of currency were used in Asian markets, and coins in some areas were treated as just another form of metal which might be melted down and recast into other objects. In general, however, marketplaces in Asia were monetized at a very early period. Indonesian inscriptions show that weights and measures had become standardized between A.D. 850 and 900. These weights were heavily influenced by Indian units and linguistic terminology, but there were some indigenous elements in both units and names.
By the year 900, silver and gold coins were minted in multiple denominations in Java. It is worth noting that the Javanese coins look nothing like those made in India. The Javanese word wli (modern Indonesia beli, “buy”) first appears in an inscription dated 878. The word pirak, analogous to modern perak, “silver,” was a synonym for money. Indian influence in the form of the Sanskrit 9 word wyaya, modern Indonesian biaya, “expenses,” also was current in 878. It seems that in addition to precious metal, other currency in the form of iron bars was used until the early tenth century (Wicks, 254-259).
An integral figure in the organization of ancient trade was the official who acted as the intermediary between the foreign merchant communities and the local ruler. This official had different designations in each area, but his duties and privileges were remarkably similar in all times and places. In the Southeast Asian realm he was called the shahbandar (from Persian “Lord of the Harbor”). In modern parlance this term is used to translate the English “harbormaster,” but this gives only a pale reflection of his activities. In many cases he was chosen from the foreign community, and to ensure his loyalty he was frequently betrothed to a member of the local royalty. He supervised the collection of customs duties and the warehousing of the imported goods. He also acted as the manager for the local ruler’s own commercial activities; many Asian rulers themselves invested in ships and cargoes. They settled disputes between the foreign merchants and rulers, and could act on their own initiative to make treaties with foreigners. Such people obviously had numerous opportunities to enrich themselves
. A good description of the system is given by Tome Pires, one of the first Europeans with an intimate knowledge of its working. He resided in Malacca from 1512 to 1515 and describes the shahbandars there, of which there were four, each with jurisdiction over merchants from different areas: “They are the men who receive the captains of the junks…. These men present them to the Bemdara (the royal treasurer), allot them warehouses, dispatch their merchandise, provide them with lodging if they have documents, and give orders for the elephants…”(Cortesao, 1944: II, 265).
These characteristics of the early ports of trade in Asia were already in existence when the veil of history lifts during a short period around two thousand years ago. One can even trace their origins further back in time; the oldest documents on trade, from Mesopotamia, already indicate the existence over 4,000 years ago of officials in charge of long-distance trade, officially designated trading ports, tributary trade in luxury items, and foreign quarters. This is not to suggest that these traits owe their existence to Mesopotamian influence; rather they simply reflect a logical approach to the similarity of conditions prevailing in these different times and places.
2.1.5 Early Chinese Trade The Chinese were not among the original members of the Indian Ocean trading network. When the Graeco-Romans first entered the Asian world, the Chinese were still largely confined to the Yellow River area of northern China. The main route to China at this time was still overland, via the Silk Route. For many centuries China’s northern frontier had been a zone of constant contention between the settled agrarian way of life and the nomadic adaptation of the steppes beyond. The nomads were always a military threat to the Chinese. One of the tactics that the Chinese used to counteract the nomads’ military superiority was to encourage exchanges of prestigious goods across the frontier. The Chinese produced numerous manufactured items that the nomads desired; by dangling exotic and rare commodities in front of the northern barbarians, it was sometimes possible to bribe them into maintaining peaceful relations. Domestically, the imperial dignity could be maintained by casting the gifts to the nomads in the form of a ruler-vassal relationship.
The nomad elite received imperial gifts in return for their tribute, recognition of political autonomy in their own territory, and permission to conduct limited private trade with the Chinese.
10 This gave the people of the steppes access to Chinese silk, tea, and porcelain. The Chinese obtained jade and, importantly for their military position, good horses. The earliest evidence for foreign trade between Chinese and non-Chinese groups dates from the fifth century B.C. It involved exchanges between the Han people living in Shandung and the people occupying what is now southern China, known as the Yüeh. The carriers of the trade were Yüeh people living around mouth of Yangzi. China south of the Yangzi became Sinicized only after the fall of the Han, when many people from the north migrated south. Between 500 and 221 B.C., the late Zhou Dynasty, demand increased among the (northern) Chinese for southern luxuries like ivory, pearls, tortoise shell, kingfisher feathers, rhinoceros horns, scented woods, and spices; “this demand may have been the strongest single motive for the southward expansion of Chinese political power” (Wang, 1958:
5). Qin Sihuang, the “first emperor,” was the first ruler to extend northern Chinese control to parts of the south coast, bordering on the South China Sea. At this time the entire south coast was still populated by Yüeh people. “The few prehistoric sites along the coast which have so far been examined merely suggest that the people were quite different from the Chinese and had a different cultural pattern” (Wang, 1958: 7). The Yüeh, unlike the northern Chinese, were expert sailors and already frequently traded with other regions. One kingdom, Nan Yüeh, with its capital near modern Guangzhou, was described in the first century B.C. by the contemporary author Su-ma Ch’ien as “the collecting-center of rhinoceros horns, elephant tusks, tortoise-shells, pearls, fruits and cloth (of hemp and other fibrous plants)” (Wang, 1958: 8). Lo Yüeh, another kingdom located in the Red River basin near modern Hanoi, was captured in 214 B.C., but not until Chinese troops had been defeated several times and reinforcements had been sent, consisting of “criminals, banished men, social parasites and merchants” (Wang, 1958: 10). This interesting set of associations for merchants shows the low esteem in which they were held. Who were these early merchants exiled to the southern colonies? No information exists. According to Confucianism, merchants were the lowest rung on the social totem pole. The documentation of Chinese economic history is therefore extremely poor. Because Confucian scholars monopolized the bureaucracy, owing to an education system predicating access to high office on memorization of the Confucian classics, Chinese history was written by officials who considered trade a degrading subject, not worthy of notice. However, indirect references, usually complaints from ministers, show that by 178 B.C. Chinese people were becoming interested in making profit from the luxury goods trade. A rising class of merchants encouraged powerful nobles to invest in trade in salt, metals, and luxury goods. Meanwhile ministers praised rulers who “despised gold and jade” and wanted the emperor to make everyone return to farming. The relationship between the governing elite of China and the mercantile classes has been marked by suspicion and hostility for over two thousand years. One of the main characteristics of Chinese history has been the tension between the culture of the north, the original center of Chinese culture, marked by militarism, austerity, isolationism, and centralized rule, and the culture of the originally non-Han Chinese south, marked by a spirit of free enterprise, commercialism, social mobility, and outward-lookingness. Four military commanderies were set up to administer the newly conquered territory, corresponding to the regions of Fuzhou, Nanhai (Guangzhou), Guilin, and Xiang (Hanoi). “Very little is known of these commanderies” (Wang, 1958: 10) other than that they had a governor and military staff. 11
The commandery of Nan-hai soon split off and became a “miniature empire,” Nan Yüeh, which ruled the coast from southern Fujian to Vietnam until 111 B.C., when the Han retook the area. In 196 B.C. the chief was made a feudal lord by the Han empire, and a regular trade with the Han developed, mainly based on the acquisition of iron in exchange for pearls, tortoise shell, ivory, and rhinoceros horn—commodities that were imported from the South Seas. Han Wudi, an energetic emperor who died in 87 B.C., allowed trade, but after his death the ministers had their way and trade was restricted. The court debate on the morality of trade is preserved in a collection of essays entitled “Discourses on Salt and Iron.” In 77 B.C. a Yüeh native who had become head of a commandery was executed for having earned more than one million cash in illegal trade. The “rare and precious objects” from beyond China played an important part in the legitimization of the ruling dynasty. As Chinese civilization developed, so did the search for more unusual and exotic items from abroad, until something resembling a cult of imported rarities evolved. The imperial court formulated a policy of sending missions abroad in search of rare and precious goods. This duty often was assigned to eunuchs. An early text refers to “chief interpreters attached to the Yellow Gate [eunuchs serving in the palace] who go to sea with the men who answer their appeal [for a crew] to buy bright pearls, pi-liu-li (opaque glass), rare stones and strange things, taking with them gold and various fine silks to offer in exchange…. The merchant ships of the barbarians are used to transfer them [the Chinese] to their destination” (Wang, 1958: 19-20).
These emissaries embarked from ports in western Guangdong, where few Chinese lived; they had already been active as centers for the pearl trade. The eunuchs may have been barbarians themselves. In the later Han Dynasty, in the second century, barbarians began sending their own seaborne missions to China. One supposedly from Daqin (Rome) came in the year 166, but was rejected by the Chinese as spurious. The envoys brought elephant tusks, rhinoceros horn, and tortoise shell as tribute; these were South Seas produce, not Roman. This record is, however, useful as the only account of what any missions brought to China at this time. The Han collapsed in 220 and was succeeded by a period known in general as the Three Kingdoms, celebrated in Chinese literature. One of these three kingdoms, Wu, held the southern coast; the other two, Wei and Shu, held the north and west. The Wei therefore had to deal with the Wu in order to obtain southern luxuries. In 236 the Wei sent envoys to Wu to obtain pearls, kingfisher feathers, and tortoise shell in exchange for horses. The Wu kept sending missions into the South Seas in search of these items. Two of these envoys, Kang Tai and Qu Ying, made a special mission to the South Seas in 245–250. They both wrote books, long lost, about their mission; some quotations from Kang Tai have been preserved in other texts. He mentioned Java/Sumatra, which he apparently visited, as well as Bangka, Belitung, and Borneo in all, ten places on the Malay Peninsula and in the Southeast Asian archipelago. During the Three Kingdoms period Chinese ships were apparently still incapable of sailing in the open sea; the emissaries traveled in foreign ships
. 2.1.6 The Tribute Missions
The kingdom of Wu was conquered by Qin, A.D. 280. More men were sent to sea to acquire the standard South Seas luxuries, and foreign tribute missions to China accelerated. In the short period of 284–287 Funan, Linyi (Champa), and twenty other countries came to present tribute. An image of the wealth which this commerce generated found its way into the literature of the 12
period. The Governor of Qing Zhou, on the route between south China and Loyang, the northern capital, was famous for flaunting his wealth, including coral trees, ivory, pearls, and scented woods. One account says that he had “powdered gharu-woods as fine as dust sprinkled over an ivory bed, and asked those that he specially loved to step on it” (Wang, 1958: 35).
Trade routes and tributary kingdoms of Southeast Asia in the fifth to seventh centuries A.D.
During the Wu and Qin dynasties, 226-405, China received missions from the following countries: Funan (7 missions), Champa (6), Daqin (the Eastern Roman Empire) (1), Sri Lanka (1), and Tangming(?) (1) (Wang, 1958: 120). Shortly thereafter, before the beginning of the next major historical phase, the famous Chinese Buddhist monk Faxien returned to China from India by sea rather than by the more common overland route. In 414 he called at Yeh-po-ti, a large trading port somewhere near the south end of the Straits of Malacca (quite possibly in northwest Java). From there he sailed directly to Guangzhou with over two hundred other people. During all his
Trade routes and tributary kingdoms of Southeast Asia in the fifth to seventh centuries A.D.13
years in India he saw no Chinese, nor were there any among the merchants on the ship taking him to China. This is the first record of a sailing connection between India and China; all indications are that Chinese merchants were not participants in this trade. The next period of important tributary activity occurred during the Southern Dynasties, 420–589, when a large mission visited China “to ensure safe and profitable trading for the foreign merchants and trading envoys” (Wang, 1958: 38). In all, 99 foreign tribute missions visited China between 420 and 589 (Wang, 1958: 51), a great increase over the previous period. The flow of tribute to China was not consistent, however; rather it came in spurts. The pattern of tribute exhibits two peaks, one during the years 420–460, the other in the period 502–540. The Southeast Asian countries active in this tributary trade include the following: Holodan, in Java, sent 6 between 430 and 440. Pohuang, Tulangbawang, southeast Sumatra: 7 between 445 and 464. Gantoli, probably south Sumatra, 455–564, 5. Poli (Bali?): 3, 470–524. Poli’s products were dominated by those obtained from the sea: tortoise shells, shell-fish, purple cowries, and corals. Panpan, somewhere on Malay Peninsula, 455–589, 12. Langkasuka, Malay Peninsula, 515–56, 3; Champa, 420–589, 25. There is a record of the types of commodities brought by this most active tributary. These include metals: gold, silver, and copper (there were said to be lots of gold and silver articles produced there); also tortoise shell, cowries, gharu wood, grass mats, cotton cloth, rhinoceros horn, and ivory. On the whole, this list represents the common items sought by the early Chinese nobility. Funan , 430–589, 17. Trade goods from Funan included some items for religious rituals like gharu wood (incense), ivory and sandalwood stupas and statues, and glass vessels used for temple rituals. The items meant for use by the nobility (as opposed to the temples) consisted of gold and silver articles, cowrie ornaments, scented woods, ivory, peacock feathers, tortoise shells, re-exports of items like gems, coral, opaque glass, cotton, and storax. Chinese “gifts” to these areas list only silk and brocade. Although the Southern Dynasties were an active period of communication with the South Seas, the records of this time still exhibit no references to Chinese ships going overseas. There are, however, rare pieces of evidence which enable us to read between the lines and to conclude that certain Chinese were exhibiting a “modern” attitude toward the benefits of engaging in foreign trade. In the 479–502 period, there is a reference to a certain Zhang Qing-zhen who “calculated carefully the silks and brocades which he used to trade with the ‘K’un-lun p’o'” (Wang, 1958: 60). The phrase “K’un-lun p’o” refers to the ships of the people who lived in the South Seas. Apparently there was a mercantile class in south China, but other than their bare existence, no other information regarding them survives.
Two other references are even more indirect, but betray something of the true nature of the trading activity and its importance for at least some sectors of Chinese society. In one reference to the Liu Sung Dynasty, one of the southern dynasties, the following note appears: “When the two Han dynasties had sent expeditions these [overland] routes had been found to be particularly difficult and merchandise, on which [China] depended, had come from Tongking; it had sailed on the waves of the sea…. Precious things come from the mountain and the sea by this way. There are articles such as rhinoceros’ horn and kingfisher feathers and rarities such as serpent pearls and asbestos; there are thousands of varieties, all of which the rulers eagerly coveted. 14
Therefore ships came in a continuous stream, and merchants and envoys jostled with each other” (in Wolters, 1967: 77). The history of the dynasty that succeeded the Liu Sung and ruled from 479 to 502 also refers to the active maritime trade of that time: “Of all the precious things in the world none are better than those of the southern barbarians. They are hidden in the mountains and in the seas. They are innumerable. Merchant ships arrive from afar and bring these things to the southern provinces. Thus it is that Tongking and Kuangtung are rich and well stocked. The goods are stored in the imperial treasury.” Very little information regarding the administration of the trade of this period survives. A mission from the Javanese kingdom of Holotan in 430 was partly intended to acquaint the Chinese emperor with the difficulties that the Javanese merchants sometimes experienced with corrupt port officials (Wolters, 1967: 165). This indicates that the collection of duties was not always properly supervised by the central government. The Southern Dynasties came to an end with the reunification of China by the Sui Dynasty in 581. The emperor in 605 moved his capital and ordered the provinces to deliver such southern luxuries as rhinoceros horns, elephant tusks, furs and feathers, to adorn his new court (Wang, 1958: 63). The short-lived Sui recorded the following missions: Champa (2); Dandan (2); Panpan (1), Red Earth Land (3), Cambodia (1), Jialoshi(?) (1) (Wang, 1958: 122). 2.1.7 Trade During the Tang Dynasty After the establishment of the Tang Dynasty in 618, the southern ocean trade expanded. In addition to luxuries for the court and goods of a religious nature, items used for medicinal purposes and condiments for food formed an increasing portion of the imports from the South Seas (if the sources are a true reflection of the situation). Yangzhou, at the junction of the Yangsi and the Grand Canal, became the main center of trade. A road built in 728 connected Guangzhou with Yangzhou. A source says that “the various countries from across the sea may now daily transport their merchandise, so that the wealth of tusks, hides, feathers and hairs, and that of fish, salt, clams and oysters can…meet the needs of the treasury and…satisfy the demands of the Qiang-Huai region” (Wang, 1958: 79). Through the eighth and into the early ninth century, trade continued to expand under the energetic Tang rulers. Guangzhou in particular benefited from this expansion. As a source from 841 says, “Guangzhou enjoyed the profits of the barbarian ships where all the valuable goods were gathered…. Of all those who served at Guangzhou, not one returned without being fully laden [with the wealth they acquired]” (Wang, 1958: 83). The missions which visited China more than once during the 278 years of the Tang Dynasty are as follows: Champa (26), Holing, Java (8), Sri Vijaya (6), Shih-tse (4), Cambodia (3), Qulomi (2), Jambi (2), Doholo (2), Kanqifo (India) (2), Mola (India) (2) (Wang, 1958: 122–123).
Even during the Tang, there are still no references to private Chinese traders voyaging overseas. The only descriptions we possess are the incidental references in court records, which tend to overlook commercial matters completely, and the record of another Buddhist monk-adventurer, Yijing. He voyaged from China to Srivijaya, south Sumatra, in 671, in a ship belonging to the ruler of Srivijaya. He remained in south Sumatra for 6 months, studying Sanskrit at a large monastery there; his experience was positive enough that he recommended it to other future 15
Buddhist travelers. He then took ship in another Srivijayan vessel and sailed to India via Malayu (Jambi) and Kedah. After residing in India for 18 years, Yij
Buddhist travelers. He then took ship in another Srivijayan vessel and sailed to India via Malayu (Jambi) and Kedah. After residing in India for 18 years, Yijing returned to Srivijaya, noting that in the interim it had absorbed both Malayu and Kedah. He intended to remain in Srivijaya for some time, but one day, while he was aboard a ship in the harbor in order to send a request to China for more paper and ink, the ship unexpectedly weighed anchor and sailed straight to China, leaving him no option but to go along and buy his own supplies. Nevertheless he so desired to spend more time in Sumatra that he returned there for some more years before finally returning for good to China in 695. Yijing’s account is useful because it mentions other Buddhists who made the pilgrimage to the Buddhist holy land, including a monk who sailed in a merchant vessel “heavily loaded with goods” from Guangzhou or Hanoi to Holing. The ship then went to Malayu, but after passing it sank in a storm because it was overloaded; the monk drowned. No doubt this incidental report represents the tip of the iceberg; voyaging between South Sumatra and China by Indonesian ships carrying a wide variety of goods from both Southeast Asia and the shores of the Indian Ocean was probably a common activity during the Tang period. The report of Yijing is of utmost importance to the study of early Tang maritime trade, because it is the only description of the sea routes used before 750. He describes direct voyages in Indonesian ships from Guangzhou to Palembang or (less often) Java. From there the standard ports of call were Malaya (Jambi) and Kedah. Return voyages followed the same route in reverse. In the late seventh or early eighth century, Srivijaya “sent several missions to the court to submit complaints about border officials seizing [their goods] and an edict was issued ordering [the officials at] Guangzhou to appease them [by making inquiries]” (Wang, 1958: 97, quoting the Tang shu). “This is the only mention in Tang records of any mission from the Nanhai successfully inducing the central government to act on behalf of the merchants at Canton. This is evidence that Srivijaya was the dominant trading power and had already earned the respect of the Chinese” (Wang, 1958: 98-99). Srivijayans were leaders of the foreign merchant community at Guangzhou until 742. In 684 the governor of Guangzhou was killed in manner which suggests that the murderer was an Indonesian distressed by officials’ misdeeds (Miller, 1969: 186). Some such incident may have been responsible for the remark of Tome Pires over 800 years later explaining why foreigners were not allowed to go to Guangzhou: “They say that the Chinese made this law about not being able to go to Canton for fear of the Javanese and Malays” (Cortesao, 1944: I, 122). In 714 we first learn of the existence of a Chinese official called the Superintendent of Shipping Trade (alternatively called Superintendent of Barbarian Shipping). This is the first sign that an official like the shahbandar of the Indian Ocean was appointed in China. The office was rather independent of the provincial authorities, being administered directly from the central government, and was dominated by eunuchs. A record from the early ninth century gives some indication of this official’s duties:
When [the la
When [the laden Nanhai ships] arrive, a report is sent to the Court and announcements are made in all the cities. The captains who command them [or chief merchants] are made to register with the Superintendent of the Shipping Trade their names and their cargo. [The Superintendent] collects the duties on the goods and sees that there are no [prohibited] precious and rare goods [of which the government had a monopoly]. There were some foreign merchants who were imprisoned for trying to deceive [him]” (Wang, 1958: 101). Another source says that 16
head of the office “dealt with the translation of languages, the offering of valuable gifts, and every year conducted the sending of tributes (either sending those due from the province itself or arranging for foreign tribute missions to go to the capital). After the last ship of the season arrived, 30% of the non-monopolized goods would be taken as duty, and the rest would be given back to the envoys to dispose of themselves (Hirth and Rockhill, 1911: 15). Provincial authorities continued to have some duties too in regard to the supervision of maritime trade. A governor of Lingnan in 820 was cited for halting smuggling: “
When the foreign ships arrive and are docking, they are charged a lowering-anchor-tax. There is an examination of the merchandise. Rhinoceros (horns) and pearls were so numerous that bribes were offered to the servants and retainers; the Governor stopped this” (Wang, 1958: 101). The same record says, “Far across the sea in the South, there were those who died in the countries there. The officials held their goods. And if their wives or their sons did not come within three months to claim them, these would be confiscated. The governor [stopping this practice] said ‘The sea journey back and forth is calculated in years; why fix the time in months? If anyone has proof, no matter whether he comes early or late, let him have all” (Wang, 1958: 101-102). In the ninth century another port of trade was opened to foreigners: Quanzhou (also called Zaitun, an indication of the large number of Muslim traders who frequented it). In the time of
the succeeding Song Dynasty (960–1279), similar practices apparently existed:Concerning foreign ships and merchants, the Superintendent examines the boats entering the harbour for ‘prohibited goods,’ takes into the godowns all the legal imports, collects the taxes due on these goods, buys on behalf of the government those goods of which it has the monopoly, and examines the boats leaving the harbour for ‘prohibited goods’. He further protects the foreign merchants while they are at the port. Concerning Chinese ships and merchants, the Superintendent examines the cargo of the ships when they leave for the Nanhai and when they return, and collects the taxes due on their goods. In 878 this period of prosperity came to an end. Guangzhou was pillaged during the Huang Zhao rebellion, foreign merchants were murdered, and all trade there ended for a century. Foreign merchants then established a rendezvous at a place known to the Arabs as Kalah (which appears in the Arabian Nights as a place visited by Sinbad). Archaeological sites at both Takuapa, on the west coast of South Thailand, and Laem Pho, on the east coast, contain abundant evidence of trade with the Near East and China at this time and may correspond to this toponym. Wang, (1958: 113) divides early maritime trade with China into three phases: Phase One: 200 B.C.–A.D. 300. Precious things desired by courts. Phase two: A.D. 300–600. Holy things. Phase three: A.D. 600–900. Drugs and spices.
The brief Five Dynasties period (907–959) saw little commercial activity. Only four missions to China are recorded: three from Janzheng and one from Srivijaya. The foundation of the Song 17
Dynasty in 960 ushered in a new and even more prosperous period of trade, when many more parties became involved, including for the first time Chinese merchants voyaging into the Nanhai.
2.1.8 Early Southeast Asian Ships The oldest known boat yet discovered in Southeast Asia has been carbon dated to A.D. 260–430 (Manguin, 1993: 236). It was discovered in Pontian, on the east coast of the Malay Peninsula. This date agrees with that estimated in 1926 by I.H.N. Evans based on ceramics found on the site with the boat, which are similar to those discovered at the contemporary port of Oc-eo in south Vietnam. The origin of the boat cannot be determined, but its lashed-lug design marks it as Southeast Asian rather than Chinese. It seems to have been a trading vessel, as its cargo suggests. The ship is estimated to have been about 12 meters long. Few other early boats have been discovered in Southeast Asia. One other, which has not been scientifically dated but which resembles the boat from Pontian, was discovered near Khuan Luk Pad, in south Thailand, a site of A.D. 1–500 that has been systematically looted because of the huge quantity of early trade beads discovered there.
Two important finds, although found in disturbed condition, were both made near Palembang, Sambirejo, carbon dated to A.D. 610–775; and Kolam Pinisi, Palembang, A.D. 434–631. The Sambirejo ship is estimated to have been 26 meters long. From a later period, probably the late Song, is a fragmentary vessel from Paya Pasir, near Kota Cina, northeast Sumatra. This too was a relatively large vessel like the Sambirejo ship. Finally, the only other important vessel of the pre-Ming period to be discovered and studied was found at Butuan, Mindanao, south Philippines, and dated to the period A.D. 1270–1410; its original length is estimated to have been 20 meters (Manguin, 1993). These ships can only be partially reconstru
These ships can only be partially reconstructed, so no detailed comparisons are possible. But some basic construction techniques can be discerned. One of the most important traits of these early Southeast Asian ships is that no iron was ever used in their construction. Instead their planks were lashed together with vegetable fibers. The use of outriggers would seem to have been another important early characteristic; large seagoing ships of this type are depicted on the Javanese monument of Borobudur, carved around 800. Dr. Manguin (1993: 264) does not think the largest ships would have used them. The use of quarter rudders such as these reliefs indicate is highly probable,
but some early Chinese ships may have used them too. A fourth-century Chinese text on medicinal plants refers to foreign ships called bo, analogous to the K’un-lun po of other writers. The word po would seem to be a transliteration of the Malay perahu, “boat.” These ships were over 50 meters long, carried four masts, and had a capacity of 600–700 people and about 600 tons of cargo (Li, 1979: 90). Chinese influence, such as the use of iron nails, seems to have become common in Southeast Asia in the fourteenth through the sixteenth centuries. The shipwreck at Bukit Jakas, Bintan Island, Riau, Indonesia, carbon dated to between 1400 and 1460, is an early example of the hybrid Chinese-Southeast Asian variants that became standard in the period after the Chinese began to participate as shippers in Southeast Asian maritime commerce. It is significant that this influence only appears after the end of the Song Dynasty; it is another strong piece of evidence supporting the inference that Chinese shippers did not participate in the trade until after the year 1000.18
2.2 Trade Interaction During the Song Dynasty (A.D. 960 – 1260)
In 960 the Song Dynasty reunified China after a period of civil war, and commerce in the ports where foreign trade was allowed quickly recovered. A decade later the Department of Foreign Trade at Guangzhou was reorganized as commerce was expanding at a rapid pace. The Song helped to stimulate this recovery by sending four missions abroad in 987. These missions “consisted of eight court officials, who carried with them imperial edicts, gold, and cloth, to various barbarian countries in the South Seas to induce the import trade of aromatics, rhinoceros horns, pearls, and Baroos camphor (so-called after Barus, north Sumatra, source of the highest quality camphor)” (Ma, 1971: 33). The Northern Song opened new ports, equivalent to the “treaty ports” persisting into the nineteenth century. The first alternative port to Guangzhou was Quanzhou, in 1087. Other Offices of the Maritime Trade Superintendency (Shih-po Si) were located at Hangzhou and Ningbo. Later, Offices of the Maritime Trade Bureau (Shih-po Wu) were located at Suzhou, Wenzhou, and Jiang-yin Chun. Although little quantitative data exists to make a firm judgment, enough anecdotal information has been preserved to support the conclusion that “by the Song period, the scale of maritime trade had become so large that it may be deemed the first period of great oceanic trade in the history of the world” (Ma, 1971:
Port cities of Song dynasty China.
It was still a criminal offense for individual Chinese to engage in direct trade with foreigners, however, and the system of hoarding all foreign incense and other luxury goods in government warehouses was still maintained. Thus for the period between 960 and 1126, known as the Northern Song, foreign commerce was continuing to expand, but still within the mold cast by the Confucianists a thousand years earlier. Merchants who induced foreigners to bring cargoes that yielded duties of over 50,000 strings of cash were offered official rank. In 1115 the Chinese government established a hotel at Quanzhou for foreigners, which cost the government 300 strings a year. In 1132 another hotel was founded at Guangzhou. A welfare service was set up for shipwrecked seamen, with an allowance of 50 cash and 2 pecks of rice a day. As early as the late Tang Dynasty, the government had begun to invest in maritime trade infrastructure by developing a harbor near Fuzhou. The Guangzhou harbor was dredged at government expense in the early eleventh century (Wheatley, 1959: 26-27).
2.2.2 The Song Government Trade Monopoly
Imports via maritime trade in the Northern Song still consisted of two main categories: the less expensive, consisting of textiles (mostly cotton), spices, and drugs, and the much more valuable: jewels, ivory, rhinoceros horn, ebony, amber, coral, aromatic products and perfumes. The sale of the luxury goods was still a government monopoly; only licensed dealers could buy them at government warehouses in Quanzhou, and to a lesser extent at Guangzhou, in fixed quantities and at fixed prices. Licensed goods were acquired by the government as import duty (all duties were paid in kind, not in cash) or through purchase by the superintendent of merchant shipping. For this purpose he was allocated about 100,000 strings of cash a year in the late eleventh century, and 300,000 strings in the early twelfth century. Interestingly, the capital for this activity was obtained by taxing priests’ diplomas. The returns on this investment were substantial; the Quanzhou office between 1128 and 1134 made a profit of 980,000 strings (Rockhill,1914: 421, n. 1.) The government attempted to enforce an imperial monopoly over the import and possession of eight items: tortoise shell, elephant tusk, rhinoceros horn, a special kind of steel used for weapons, skin of a lizard used for making drums, coral, agate, and frankincense (Ma, 1971: 37-38).
Nevertheless, indirect references suggest that the reality did not correspond very closely to the ideal which the laws sought to impose. Again, the records that were preserved obviously show a very inaccurate picture of what was actually going on. 2.2.3 The Currency Drain Already in 1074 an official named Chang Fang-p’ing mentioned seagoing junks that were leaving China on their return voyage with full cargoes of cash, so that “the currency was drained off like the waters of the sea into the wei-lu” [literally, rear gate] (Rockhill, 1914: 422). By the mid-twelfth century, illicit trade in expensive merchandise was so great that Chinese smugglers were paying for all goods with gold, silver, iron, and especially copper cash, and this drain was causing the Chinese government serious concern. By 1159 only one-tenth of the money intended to be coined was actually cast. This discrepancy was generally attributed by official accounts of the time to illegal foreign sea trade. 20
In 1194 the governor of a military district in Fujian refused to allow people under his jurisdiction to go abroad to trade with foreign people “whose many ships coming from abroad laden with aromatics, rhinoceros horns, ivory and king-fishers’ feathers were already draining all the copper cash out of the land.” Sumptuary laws were passed repeatedly (in 1107, 1157, 1201, and 1214) against use of kingfisher feathers and gold for ornaments, but to no avail. In 1248, a “Censor, Ch’en Ch’iu-lu, attributed the drain of cash out of China to the extravagance of its people in purchasing such luxuries as perfumes, ivory, and rhinoceros horns, and to the sea-trade generally” (Rockhill, 1914: 423). Thus sea trade was a double-edged sword; rather than providing additional resources for the state coffers, it seems to have had the opposite effect. This did not, however, prevent the rulers from dreaming that maritime trade might provide a solution to their serious financial problems. 2.2.4 The Southern Song Dynasty: Trade for Revenue The ancient strictures on foreign trade maintained by the Chinese government began to weaken when, in 1126, the Song rulers were defeated by the Khitan nomads. When the northern heartland of China was lost to the invaders, the Chinese court escaped and moved south, to Hangzhou.
The port of Quanzhou, the nearest to Hangzhou, eventually surpassed Guangzhou as the largest entrepot in China. Not only was the court now cut off from the overland route to the west, and conversely nearer to the centers of maritime trade with the South Seas; now the potential capacity of maritime commerce to augment the coffers of the kingdom—in order to defend the remnants of the Song lands against the northern invaders—became a matter of significant moment to the empire. Thus official trade expanded, partly by design, in order to secure additional revenue. The Emperor Gao-zong in 1137 issued an edict on the subject, stating,
“The profits from maritime commerce are very great. If properly managed, they can bring a million (strings of cash). Is this not better than taxing the people?” (Ma, 1971: 34). In fact Gao-zong’s projections were based on available statistics; in 1128 maritime trade had already yielded customs duties of 2 million strings of cash, which was 20% of the government’s entire revenue. With the establishment of the Southern Song Dynasty, there came a revolutionary development: for the first time in history, private Chinese were allowed, even encouraged, to go overseas to trade. The entire structure of the maritime trade system of the South Seas underwent fundamental changes as a result of this new policy
. Status as an official tribute-bearing country was no longer a prerequisite for conducting commercial relations with China. Trade was freed from its link to diplomacy. The tribute system which had regulated contacts between Southeast Asians and Chinese declined significantly in importance. Even the ostensibly aloof attitude of the nobility toward trade, behind which often lay a very different code of conduct, eroded significantly. “In the late Southern Song period, the relatives of the Song royal family were vying with private enterprises in Quanzhou…. They used their political status to toy with the maritime trade rules to earn much profit from maritime trade. Hence they were very unpopular with the merchant community” (Kwee, 1997: n 35).
The decline of the tribute system probably contributed significantly to political changes in the
South Seas. In particular, the advent of Chinese merchants and shippers in
Asian waters broke down barriers that had fostered the prosperity of a few centralized trading ports. The empire of Srivijaya, based in south Sumatra, had received a severe blow from the Cola invasion of 1025; the appearance of Chinese ships in Southeast Asian waters probably sounded the old thallasocracy’s death knell. The upsurge in Chinese shipping activity did not, of course, mean that Southeast Asian society suffered economically as a whole; in fact the converse is almost certainly true. Numerous new port sites, marked by abundant shards of Song ceramics, date from this time, suggesting that prosperity probably increased for the Southeast Asians as commerce grew. Moreover, the new wealth was probably more widely distributed. New ports gave traders direct access to Chinese merchants, bypassing the Srivijayan rulers who would have raked off most of the goods in dues and fees. The complexity of maritime trade in the early Southern Song is well indicated by an enormously varied inventory, dated 1141, which included 339 types of imports. The most important in terms of value as well as volume were still aromatics and drugs: frankincense, ambergris, liquid storax (a kind of resin), gardenia flowers, pucuk , myrrh, cloves, nutmeg, and sandalwood. These were not trivial commodities; they were commonly used for a wide range of purposes. In addition to their religious uses, various kinds of aromatics were needed in the household to perfume clothes and bathwater and serve as wall decorations and in the preparation of food. One of four imperial warehouses was used solely to store incense and aromatics. By late Song times, traders had to file official forms specifying destinations and needed guarantors “who assumed full responsibility in case the traders violated the trade laws.” Crew members of trading ships usually engaged in small-scale maritime trading. They were organized into 5-member units, and had some sort of “papers” issued for them (Kwee, 1997: 16). Some Chinese had probably been residing in Southeast Asia before 1126, but it is unlikely that any accurate accounting of them will ever be made. Since it was potentially a capital offense to disobey the laws against private overseas trade, those who flouted the law would try to ensure that their acts would not be recorded. One of the earliest pieces of evidence that Chinese were living overseas for long periods appears in 1150, when a Chinese and some “dark natives” were shipwrecked, apparently while trying to sneak back into China. The Chinese had lived in Indonesia for a long time and had an Indonesian wife (Hirth, 1917: 76). As might be expected from the clandestine nature of the early trade and the intensity of the smuggling practiced even after private trade was no longer an offense, little documentary information exists to illuminate the conditions under which early Chinese shipping was conducted. 2.2.5 Chinese Ships of the Song Dynasty Of the few details that can be adduced, one is that ship captains were given a qu-qi ,or “vermillion pass”, on which was written his name and that of his first mate, the number of passengers, and the size and type of his ship. Ships had about ten oars, each worked by four men, as well as sails. The sailors were armed against pirates, with bows and arrows. Ships had two anchors at the bows. There were no cabins; each passenger was allotted a certain amount of deck space. Zhu Yu of the Song period described merchant ships at Guangzhou:
22 The ships were several hundred feet long, and wide. Merchants divided space in the ships for stowing goods, each getting several square feet of floor space, while they slept above. Most of the goods were ceramic vessels, one placed within another according to size with little space between….” (Quoted in Li Zhiyan and Cheng Wen, 1989: 102). The main vessels towed behind them a small boat used when landing. In the early twelfth century the magnetic compass began to be used, but texts describe another method of navigation which made use of a hook on a long rope to bring up mud from the sea bottom, which captains used to smell and inspect to determine their position (Wang, 1958).
Maritime archaeology is just beginning to contribute new insights into the physical conditions of the early Chinese maritime trade activity. In May–July 1995, an expedition based on preliminary work in 1990 investigated a shipwreck just north of Fuzhou, in the Dinghai area. The majority of artifacts recovered (69%) were porcelains. There were also two concretions of iron. Remains of ship timbers still existed; more excavations are planned, which may shed much more light on the subject. A shipwreck at Ningbo, contemporaneous with Bai Jiao, has also been discovered. Another ship dating from the Song dynasty was found at Quanzhou and excavated in 1974. It had a deep v-shaped bottom, a true keel, and a stern rudder. The Quanzhou ship was 34.6 meters long, 9.82 meters wide, and displaced 374.4 tons, making it as large as any merchant vessel then known in the West
. 2.2.6 Southeast Asian Markets
As has been noted earlier, some Southeast Asian societies had already become accustomed to the use of currency before the end of the first millennium. Of these societies, the most comprehensive data indicating a highly monetized economy comes from Java. Taxes in Java were expressed as money, not as a proportion of the harvest as was still current practice in India, for example. Irrigated rice land, orchards, and houses were privately owned and could be sold, although rights to land not under continuous cultivation were still vested in the village as a corporate body. Most villages had periodic markets. Market officials are mentioned in the oldest Javanese inscriptions from the eighth century (Christie, 1992). The inscriptions also describe two levels of economic activity: one level was part-time (probably); activities in this category included dye-making, dyeing, weaving, some pottery making, sugar making, and bamboo mat making. These occupations were probably conducted as sidelines when the agricultural cycle or local resources made them feasible. The second level of activities concerned specialized traders and craftsmen, who could choose where to live for economic reasons; they were mobile. These people were termed masamwyawahara, “those who carry on commerce.” Some were middlemen somehow connected to an international network, dealing in imported produce, including tin and other metals, but they also sold rice. This suggests that there was a relatively large number of people who bought food on the market.
How did the long-distance maritime trade network interact with the local distribution system? Sadly, the Javanese sources are no more helpful in answering such questions than the Chinese. Once more we must turn to archaeology, and once more we find that very little data 23
has been collected. The only important class of Chinese artifact for which distributional data has been collected in Java is porcelain, and only one regional study has so far been conducted: in north-central Java. In a study conducted by a Dutch scholar in the 1940s, Song pottery was found at over 20 sites in Rembang, and in more than a hundred sites in the neighboring regencies of Semarang, Grobogan, Demak, Jepara, Pati, Kudus, and Blora. The distribution pattern seems to be correlated with settlement areas and transport routes. The data indicates that, by the eleventh century, pottery in the area of north-central Java surveyed by Orsoy de Flines (2,500 square kilometers) was distributed by some sort of integrated marketing system. The north-central pattern contrasts with the pattern so far detected in a haphazard fashion for the Tang dynasty ceramics found in south-central Java; most of the finds of Chinese porcelain there are associated with temple sites. There are, however, several different variables that might account for this, including different functions for the pottery, lesser importance attached to ceramics in the Tang, different geographical areas, and different settlement patterns, and so on. So much more information on the distribution of Chinese imports in Southeast Asian sites must be collected before the possible effects of changing Chinese involvement in maritime trade on the Southeast Asian society and economy can be observed and disentangled from other subsystems evolving at the same time. 2.3 Trade Interaction During the Yuan Dynasty (A.D. 1260-1367) 2.3.1 Introduction Although a fugitive Song court managed to survive for another 19 years, until 1279, for all practical purposes the Yuan Dynasty began in 1260, when the Mongols largely completed the conquest of China. If Chinese economic history can be said to be neglected, the economic history of the Yuan has been positively ignored. Only one English-language study has been devoted to the foreign trade of the Yuan, and that work, Schurmann’s Economic Structure of the Yuan Dynasty (1956), contains only one chapter on maritime trade. Yuan trade has also been largely neglected in Chinese-language sources. A 1955 study by Fang Hao is still the main work, though its conclusions are now outdated (Kwee, 1997). Chinese sources tend to conflate the Song and Yuan, so that details about the Yuan are often obscure or contradictory. Fang Hao, studying Sino-Western interaction in general, argued that foreign trade during the Yuan was stunted by monopolizing acts of the Yuan government, that big merchants were suppressed, but that nevertheless trade increased compared to the Song! Chen Gao-hua has suggested that Yuan foreign trade was conducted mainly by sea rather than overland (Kwee, 1997: 2, n. 3), a view that contradicts Reid’s generalization (1993:10). He makes the assertion, briefly treated, that the maritime trade reached a peak in Yuan; so does Schurmann, also without substantiation. Li Donghua (1984) argued that maritime trade in Quanzhou during the Yuan was more prosperous than in the Song, but, once again, offered no evidence (Kwee, 1997: 2, n. 4). However, anecdotes indicating the wealth of Quanzhou are plentiful. We know, for instance, that the son-in-law of the superintendent of trade at Quanzhou, who died in 1293, had 80 seagoing ships and 130 pikuls of pearls (Wheatley, 1959: 29).
Such indirect evidence does support the idea that the trade expansion characteristic of Song times continued to accelerate during the Yuan Dynasty. Moreover, Yuan sources show
clearer distinctions among various maritime territories. Such terms as East and West Seas (Dong-xi-yang), Bigger East Sea (Da-dong-yang), Little East Sea (Xiao-dong-yang), and Little West Sea (Xiao-xi-yang) first appeared. These are obvious signs of increasing Chinese familiarity with the maritime world. Other sources of indirect evidence must suffice to estimate the nature of the expansion of Yuan trade, no statistics having survived. Schurmann (1956: viii; cited in Kwee, 1997: 5-6, n. 13) observes that “not all the important economic institutions of the Yuan are covered [in the shi-huo-zhi section of the Yuan shih]…nothing on tenancy, private commerce, stores, pawnshops, and manufacturing. None of these institutions directly concerned the government, although they are important in the economic history of China; only those of direct interest to the government such as taxes, land survey, maritime grain transport, and monopoly taxes are treated.” One text, the Da-de-nan-hai-zhi, states that there were “many treasures” in the Yuan Dynasty, many times more than previous dynasties (Kwee, 1997: 3, n. 7). According to Chen Gao-hua (1991), there were more than 160 types of maritime goods in the Southern Song, but more than 220 types in the Yuan (Kwee, 1997: 4, n. 9). The number of foreign polities trading with China, as well as the variety of produce in China, increased during the Yuan. By way of interest, a rare instance of the use of maritime trade as a poetic theme occurs in the work of Sung Pen in the early fourteenth century. “The foreign ships have sailed away from their anchorage. Year after year they come as if the seas were always tranquil…In the sixth month when the south wind blows they come, and we greet them with wine and music. Is it not a joyful occasion?” (Wheatley, 1959:3). 2.3.2 Yuan Government Interests in Maritime Trade The Yuan established their first maritime trade office in 1277 at Quanzhou, the most prosperous port of the late Song. “Every year, an invitation was to be extended to foreign traders to trade in China” (Yuan shih, juan 94; Kwee, 1997). Three more were established shortly thereafter: at Ningpo (King-yuan), Shanghai, and Kanfu (near Hangchou, Polo’s Ganfu). By 1293 there were seven. “So much emphasis was placed on revenue from maritime trade that even monks, who were often granted privileges, were not exempted from taxes.” The Yuan, being Mongols, lacked the ancient Confucian prejudice against trade. Thus it is not surprising that they liberalized the system even further than the Song emperors had done. Official veneration of Ma-zu, Goddess of the Sea, increased. In 1278 “officials memorialized the throne’s calling attention to the importance of encouraging trade relations with the peoples of the south-eastern [or southern and eastern] islands, all of whom, the writers declared, were filled with the most loyal devotion to China” (Rockhill, 1914: 429). In 1279 an envoy was sent to Java. In 1282 an envoy from Java came to China with a shrine of gold as tribute.
The Yuan in 1284 actually instituted a policy of government investment in maritime trade. The prefects of Hangzhou and Quanzhou chose certain persons to go abroad to conduct trade, providing them with ships and capital. Net profit was distributed according to a formula of 70% for the government, 30% for the trader. Seagoers and families were exempted from corvée. This policy was resented by big merchants; its main objective seems not to have been to stimulate trade but to prevent a few large mercantile families from becoming dangerously powerful by making it possible for more small operators to compete with them. This new form of government involvement in maritime trade may reflect the traditional symbiotic relationship between the 25 ortogh and the Mongolians in their original homeland in the steppes. Ortogh (“partners” in Turkic) were commercial groups, consisting largely of central Asiatic Muslim merchants, who became a leading class under the Yuan; extensive government funds were loaned to them for commerce and usury (Kwee, 1997: n. 41). Under the Yuan government, more Muslim tombstones were erected in Quangzhou than during the Song. The government even went so far as to forbid the use of private capital in foreign trade (Rockhill, 1914: 425). However, “The efforts of the government to prevent private trading must have failed signally, for in 1303 we learn that the prohibition against private sea-trading was repealed…” (Rockhill, 1914). By then the Yuan government had instituted a maritime trade tax, in 1292 (Kwee, 1997: 15, n. 46), and by 1295 smuggling to avoid the tax and to export forbidden goods such as bronze coinage was so rampant that officials were sent out to sea to examine ships. In the late Yuan period the pendulum of official attitudes toward commerce swung back and forth. The offices of maritime trade were closed in 1294, but reopened later the same year; closed in 1303, reopened in 1308; closed in 1311, reopened in 1314; closed in 1320, reopened in 1322. The reasons for these closures are never given in the sources. Scholars have suggested that political reasons, such as the fear that rich merchants might turn against the state, were responsible, but it is also possible that these actions were meant to penalize private traders who violated trading laws. There are references to “22 rules of Yuan trade.” In an interesting theory, Chen Gao-hua has argued that the prohibitions may not have been all that significant, for there is evidence to suggest that foreign traders still came to Shanghai when the office of maritime trade there was closed. 2.3.3 The End of Tributary Trade In 1326 the Tai-ding emperor renounced tributary trade. “In 1329 the presenting for transmission to Court of expensive and useless objects, all of which had to be paid for at regulated prices and which were now held to be but a canker devouring the riches of the state was strictly forbidden.” The Yuan were more expansionist than the traditional Chinese empires had been. They fought numerous battles on the Southeast Asian mainland, with Vietnam, Champa, Cambodia, and Burma, often to attempt to force the Southeast Asians to accept a more formal degree of submission to their overlordship than the Chinese had ever required in the context of the “tributary trade.” In 1292 the emperor, Khublai Khan, decided to send a large expedition to Java to avenge a mutilation of his envoy. The naval expedition was placed under the governor of Fujian, using ships requisitioned from private traders, there being no formal Chinese navy. In 1293 the fleet sailed from Quanzhou, but the expedition became embroiled in a confused political situation in Java, was ultimately betrayed by an erstwhile Javanese ally, and sailed back the same year. Khublai Khan died in 1293, and relations with Java soon returned to normal; Javanese missions arrived at court in 1298 and again in 1300. 2.3.4 Chinese Trade in the Moluccas
One of the more interesting questions about Southeast Asian commerce in the Yuan period concerns the breadth of the area over which Chinese sailors actually ranged. One of the 26
prizes of the maritime trade—one which attracted such early explorers as Columbus—was access to the mace and cloves of the Spice Islands, the Moluccas. Some authors have argued that the Chinese actually reached the Moluccas as early as the Yuan Dynasty, while others have rejected this idea. The Yuan dynasty author Wang Dayuan (Rockhill, 1914: 259–60) and early Portuguese sources say that Chinese traders once visited Ternate and Tidore to buy cloves. Barros held that the Moluccans lived like savages until Chinese junks began to arrive to buy their cloves, providing in exchange the Chinese cash that became their major currency. Eventually “the Javanese also responded to their commerce, and the Chinese stopped coming” [Joao de Barros, Da Asia, 1563, Dec. 3, livro 1, 576–79]. Other Portuguese, Spanish, and Dutch sources report similar stories circulating among the Ternatans. Galvao, one of the earliest and most careful of these, concedes that the Ternatans differed as to whether the first junks arriving for cloves were Chinese, Malay, or Javanese. “Most of them incline towards the view that it was the Chinese, and that seems to be the truth” (Galvao, A Treatise on the Moluccas [c. 1544] in Reid, 1996, n. 20). But by the early fifteenth-century Ming period, there is no indication of direct Chinese sailing to the Moluccas. What happened? Reid (1996) suggests that Majapahit incorporated the Chinese sailors, by then largely resident in Southeast Asia and in the process of becoming absorbed into the local populations, into the Javanese shipping industry. “‘Chinese’ merchants may no longer have been reported as making the voyage between Java and Maluku because they ceased to be identified as such. The confusion of Ternatans as to whether the early traders were Chinese, Malays, or Javanese was probably justified.” This is plausible, but not completely convincing. The early fifteenth-century Ming voyages under Zheng He were Muslim-led, so it seems likely that some knowledge of this ancestry would have been communicated to them. It also creates the implication that the Javanese were less aware than Chinese of the routes to eastern Indonesia. Another possibility is that the early Ming prohibition against foreign trade severed the China-Moluccas connection. 2.3.5 Chinese Communities in Southeast Asia Our first written confirmation that some permanent communities of Chinese in Southeast Asia had formed comes from the author Wang Dayuan, a trader who spent a number of years in Southeast Asia in the late Yuan period. He mentions two such communities but does so in such an offhand manner as to suggest that they were so common that they did not deserve special attention. In one case, he reports that some Chinese from the Yuan dynasty fleet, on its way to attack Java, were shipwrecked, fell ill, and had been left behind on Goulan Shan (possibly the island of Gelam, off southwest Borneo). In his day, 40 years later, some men (or their descendants; “over 100”) “live mixed up with the native families” (Rockhill, 1914: 261). A second reference to overseas Chinese appears in the context of his description of the Longya men, at “Dragon’s Tooth Strait,” the western entrance to Keppel Harbor, Singapore. That location was known as a particularly dangerous pirate lair. From his account some Chinese lived there, although it would seem more likely that they were resident at Pancur, his name for the settlement on the Singapore River, about 8 kilometers away. By the early fifteenth century, several other communities existed in Sumatra and Java; it is likely that their roots go back at least to the end of the Yuan, for the installation of the Ming Dynasty in 1368 was accompanied by a total ban on Chinese emigration.27
2.4 Trade Commodities 2.4.1 Historical Sources There are few sources which contain usable information on China/Southeast Asia trade of this period, largely due to the official prejudice against commerce even during the relatively free atmosphere of the Song and Yuan Dynasty. The Ling Wai Dai Da, “Information on What is Beyond the Passes,” by Zhou Qufei (1178), has been lost but was quoted by later sources. The oldest well-preserved text was written by the harbormaster of Guangzhou, Zhao Rugua, Zhu Fan Zhi, “Records of Foreign Peoples,” in 1225. He did not leave China, but accumulated his information by interviewing sailors. The most interesting text is the Dao Yi Zhi Lue [DYZL], the “Description of the Barbarians of the Isles” written by Wang Dayuan, cognomen Huan-chang, a native of Nanchang in Jiangsi, in 1349. This is the first in-depth account of Southeast Asian trade written by an eyewitness. Another important Chinese reference work on Southeast Asian commerce was written by Ma Guan, entitled Ying-Yai Sheng-Lan [YYSL], “A Comprehensive Survey of the Shores of the Ocean,” probably written between 1425-1432, by an otherwise unknown Chinese Muslim who knew foreign languages and went as interpreter and recorder with the 1413 expedition of Zheng He. The Xing Cha Sheng Lan [ [XCSL] or “Description of the Starry Raft,” was written by Fei Xin in 1436; he made several voyages with Zheng He, in an unknown capacity. Before the Southern Song, aromatic woods and resins were the most sought-after Nanhai products. During the Southern Song and Yuan, demand expanded to include bulk commodities such as pepper and a wide range of other commodities listed in the texts referenced above. The lists cannot be taken as comprehensive, however. In Wang, for example, the equivalent of “et cetera” appears at the end of the lists of trade goods. Some ports, e.g., Hua-mien, associated with the Batak area of north Sumatra, are identified as stops for provisioning only, not as trading ports. Here the ships would purchase cattle, sheep, fowls, ducks, betel nuts, sugarcane, sirih leaves, and cotton. The shippers would barter iron bars, blue cotton cloth, coarse bowls, and Quzhoufu porcelain. The Chinese authors sometimes were mistaken about which products were local and which were re-exports. Zhao, for example, knew that Srivijaya was a great source of Arab products such as pearls, frankincense, rosewater, gardenia flowers, myrrh, aloes, asa-oetida, etc. (Hirth and Rockhill, 1911: 61). In other cases errors due to the inability to distinguish between exports and re-exports have crept in. 2.4.2 Commodities Traded Within Southeast Asia Following is a list of commodities traded between various ports in Southeast Asia as noted in the above-mentioned sources. Some are Chinese products, while others are goods carried by traders from outside the region. Glass beads Coral beads Cotton Taffetas Damask Chintz Silk Satin Patola cloth Brocades Muslin Gold Silver Mercury Borax Tin Betel nuts Cowrie shells Salt Spirits Lacquerware Musical instruments Wooden combs Pepper28 s Hides Ivory Tortoise shell Iron Laka wood Sapan wood Gharu wood Rosewood Sandal wood Calambac wood Cardamon Kingfishers’ feathers Dragon’s blood Gems Rattan Beeswax Ambergris Pearls Coconuts Nutmeg Cloves Mace Pandanus Mats
2.4.3 Commodities on the Java Sea Wreck
The two main commodities, iron and ceramics, are treated in Sections 8.0 and 9.0, respectively. 18.104.22.168 Ivory
Wild elephants were still found in south Fujian until A.D. 1050, and in Yunnan until A.D. 1388 (Arasaratnam, 1991). However, ivory was imported to China from at least as early as the tenth century as a major item of tributary trade. Northern Vietnam sent large quantities on nearly every mission. In the year 980, “100 tusks of ivory” were sent; in 1164, “30 pieces of ivory tusks”; and in 1177, “70 ivory tusks.” In 1173, 11 domestic elephants were sent to China as tribute. Champa (central Vietnam) sent 168 ivory tusks in 1155. The Srivijaya empire of southern Sumatra sent 87 tusks weighing 4,065 katis in 1156, and a further 60 tusks in 1178. Ivory was sent from as far as Africa via Arab traders. The Abbasid dynasty of Arabia sent “209 pieces of big ivory tusks” in 1131 (Wong, 1979). Ivory, according to Zhao, came from Annam, Red River, Cambodia, the east coast of the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Java (the latter lies outside the elephant’s range and in reality must have re-exported ivory).
Sources of ivory and routes for the ivory trade during the Song dynasty.29