Shipwreck from 13th century Mongolian invasion found off Japan

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Shipwreck from 13th century Mongolian invasion found off Japan

July 05, 2015 - 18:25
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Vessel found in the waters off the island of Takashima was part of Mongol armadas which sailed to Japan in 1274 and 1281

The bow of a vessel believed to be from a 13th century Mongolian invasion attempt

On 2 July archaeologists surveying the waters off the island of Takashima confirmed a shipwreck found here is a vessel from a 13th century Mongolian fleet that foundered in a typhoon in a failed attempt to invade Japan.

The recently discovered ship is estimated to have been 65 feet long and around 20 feet wide and was carrying 13th-century Chinese ceramics, as well as ironware that positively identified it as a ship belonging to one of the two doomed Mongol fleets. The two invasion attempts in 1274 and 1281 ended in vain as the both fleets were destroyed in typhoons.

The research team from University of the Ryukyus discovered the shipwreck last autumn around 200 meters off the southern coast of Takashima island and 15 meters below the surface. The first confirmed Mongolian warship was discovered in 2011 around 1.7 kilometers west of the wreck found last year.

About 20 artifacts, including a white porcelain bowl, brown glaze pottery vase, roof tiles and ironware, have been discovered in and around the wreck, the researchers said.

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