This paper aims to outline two different trade patterns in the South China Sea during the Song period by examining the distribution pattern of cargos on the Intan, Cirebon, Nanhai No.1 (南海I号) and Quanzhou Bay 泉州湾 wrecks. Through the detailed analysis, it is argued that the voyage of some merchant ships would be conducted at the request of a single authority, from a few available, who handled bulk selling while the remaining spaces on the ship would be leased to some individual traders who did retail business. The major cargo on board would be aimed toward a single directional destination, as is represented by the Inan and Cirebon wrecks. In other cases, the sea-going journey would be a joint operation involving multiple traders and the major cargo would be handled by peddlers and possibly sold at a number of ports-of-call, as is seen with the Nanhai No.1 and Quanzhou Bay wreck. . . . . Keywords Trade patterns South China Sea Shipwrecks Cargo distribution Song Period The South China Sea is the first leg of the long-distance tans- shipwrecks—Intan, Cirebon, Nanhai No.1 (南海I号)and Asian trade route that led from China to the Mediterranean. Quanzhou Bay 泉州湾 wrecks. Judging from the recovered shipwreck data and objects brought to the surface, from the late ninth century onward, the trading circle involved merchant ships originating in China, Southeast 1 The distribution of cargos on the Intan Asia and the Middle East, and was fed with the manufactured and Cirebon shipwrecks objects as well as raw materials originating from a vast territory (Qin 2007;Li 2001;Manguin 1993). How was the trade The Intan wreck, salvaged from the northwest region of the of each different types of merchandise managed, and for ships Java Sea (Fig. 1), was an early-mid tenth century Southeast that carried mixed cargos, how was the trade conducted? Asian merchant ship carrying a mixed cargo. According to the So far, twenty-five wrecks and wreck sites from the South excavation report of the Intan wreck (Flecker 2002:29–120), China Sea and areas directly to the east and south dating from it carried a wide range of Southeast Asian and foreign prod- ninth to thirteenth century have been salvaged or surveyed and ucts. Artifacts include such bronze ritual articles as figurines, published reports or on websites. Besides the Belitung wreck vessels, scepters, bells, and molds, some at least of which which was an Arabic merchant ship (Flecker 2010:101–119), appear to have been of Indian origin. Finds of Chinese origin the others with identified origins are sourced to China or include ceramics, copper coins, bronze mirrors and iron arti- Southeast Asia. This paper discusses two different trading cles. Other artifacts include Middle Eastern glassware, modes in the South China Sea that we identify during the Southeast Asian ingots of lead, silver, tin, and bronze, food- Song 宋period (AD 960–1279), namely the single authority stuffs such as candle-nuts, and other organic material includ- pattern and the peddler trade pattern. We do this through the ing tiger bones, sambar antlers, an elephant tooth and tusk, analysis of the distribution of cargo on four major worked ivory pieces, and pieces of benzoin, with the vast of majority of the recovered artefacts comprised of ceramics (7309 pieces), metal ingots (including bronze (865), tin * Peining Li (793) and copper alloy (479)), door fittings (596) and mirrors firstname.lastname@example.org (652). Judging from the figures in the excavation report, it is apparent that the distribution of the major cargos mainly fol- Department of Archaeology, Linacre College, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK lows two different patterns: first, some artefacts occurred 84 asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 Fig. 1 The locations of the Intan and Cirebon wrecks relatively uniformly along the length of the site, such as the commodity and at the bottom of the hold (Flecker 2002:82). door fittings and tin ingots, or second, they were centered The distribution of bronze ingots, on the other hand, peaks in around one or several separate regions, such as seen for the two separate regions: the southern end (Grid C10) and the mirrors and ceramics. Because of the shapes of the fittings, midship north (Grid F7) (Flecker 2002: 79). Grid C10 is also which were not loose items of cargo but rather were attached the same area where tin is concentrated and hence bronze and to completed doors (but could roll once the door disintegrated) tin ingots were likely stowed together. When discussing the and the buoyancy of the doors them (which allowed displace- overall distribution of the bronze ingots, it is important to bear ment by current), the original placement of the door fittings is in mind that some 196 kg of bronze ingots were recovered difficult to conclude (Flecker 2002:45–51). Therefore, the prior to the documented earlier excavation, with their recovery other three objects will be the main focuses. reputedly conducted in Grid E and F: with a mean weight of 2 The tin and bronze ingots and copper items each feature kg, then around 100 pieces of bronze ingots would supposedly separate distribution patterns in which each category of object have been located at the central area of the wreck site. If this is was close to each other. Great quantities of tin ingots, packed true, then there would have been more of a continuum be- densely, were found at the southern end of the wreck, but there tween the two peaks in the distribution. Scrap and sheet cop- were also substantial numbers at the far north as in Grid H, per alloy follows a similar distribution pattern to the bronze implying that tin was stowed along the full length of the ves- ingots, with a higher concentration at the southern end of the sel. According to the excavation report, in many cases, pyra- site, but also extending to just north of midships, and slightly midal tin ingots were recovered stuck together, base to base to the west (Flecker 2002: 80). It is reasonable to conclude that with all edges aligned, which is sufficient to conclude that scrap bronze had been stowed down low in the ship, together they were stowed in this manner. Each layer of ingots must with the bronze and tin ingots. as their weight stowed at mid- have been stacked with alternate ingots placed upright and ship instead of at the far ends would serve as ballast to stabilize upside-down in order to fully utilize the hold space (Flecker the ship under sail. The higher concentration at the southern 2002: 80). An interesting finding regarding the distribution of end is more likely due to the fact that the wrecked ship was tin ingots is that there is a U-shaped pattern at the southern end orientated northwest/southeast. of the site, an indication of tin being stowed around another Liebner (2009: 44) once has argued that ownership is reflected by the placement of cargo batches. If the load was owned, managed, and to have been marketed by a number of The artifact concentrations at the south end, also seen in the distribution of merchants, then the composition of items found in (any) cer- door fittings, is probably due to the orientation of the ship, which means that the south end of the ship hit the seabed first, causing the objects on board to tain compartments should noticeably vary from the arrange- shift to the south. However, if great numbers of items still were located at the ment of objects un-earthed from (any) other sections. Such far north end of the wreck site, then they clearly were stowed along the full arrangements would result in a number of individually length of the ship. asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 85 Fig. 2 Proposed “vertical stacks” of cargo consignments (after Liebner 2014: 458, Fig. 4.2-2) composed “vertical stacks” of cargo consignments (Fig. 2). and C10. In the northern area, the Chinese mirrors are con- On the other hand, if the load was owned by a single authority, centrated around Grid F6, whereas the Indonesia mirrors cen- the stowage design should follow the requirement of seaman- tered around F7 (Flecker 2002:59–60). Slight differences in ship, which would lead to a “horizontal stack” of cargo (Fig. peak concentration may indicate that the mirrors were stored 3). One should question the likelihood of this argument’sout- in separate chests, as would be expected, but in the same comes. Indeed, under certain circumstances, such as of prod- vicinity. The fact that the Indonesian mirrors and Chinese ucts were loaded from different ports and from different mirrors were stowed at probably two different consignments resellers, the composition of a certain type of cargo handled respectively suggest that there were at least two merchants by a single authority could vary in provenance, quality and trading in the same kind of commodities. quantity between every compartment. On the contrary, for the Compared with the cargos mentioned above, the distribu- sake of saving space, cargo belonging to different owners tion of ceramics is more complicated. The ceramics were could be packed densely and uniformly with the use of other spread out in a circular fashion, leaving an area almost devoid ownership indicators such as wooden tags or ink marks, in- of ceramics (Flecker 2002: 119). This unusual distribution stead of relying on location in the ship to mark ownership. pattern is probably a consequence of the wrecking process, Nevertheless, in the case of the metal ingots and copper alloy during which the ceramics shifted to the west, leaving the area cargos on the Intan wreck, such indicators were absent, and where the vessel once lay relatively empty. As for the longi- their stowage pattern, which was along the full length of the tudinal distribution, overall speaking, the peak concentration vessel or centered around the midship as ballast, seems to occurred in the north and south. However, according to support the assumption of the “horizontal stack.” Therefore, Flecker (2002: 120), during the earlier undocumented recov- the trading of these metals was most likely organized by a ery, considerable quantities of ceramics had previously been single merchant or only a few merchants. removed from the central grid area. Taking that into account, The distribution of mirrors (255 Indonesian mirrors, 302 the concentration would not have been quite so pronounced. Indonesian mirror handles, and 95 Chinese mirrors) shows On the other hand, the major types of ceramics on board de- quite different patterns. The distribution of Chinese mirrors veloped different distribution patterns. Brown/green glazed compares closely to that of Indonesian mirrors. In both cases, pots, the predominant ceramic type (with 4,855 brown ware there are two separate consignments, one at the end of the site pots out of the total of 7,309 pieces of ceramics recorded), and the other just north of center, and in both cases, the north- were recovered in substantial quantities along the full length ern concentration is higher (Flecker 2002: 59). In the southern of the site. Considering earlier recoveries, they may have been area, Chinese mirrors are concentrated in Grids C8 and C10, packed fairly uniformly from the south to midships, but a whereas Indonesian mirrors are concentrated in Grids B8, B9 larger number were certainly packed to the north (Flecker 2002: 120). Fine-paste bottles and kendis (pouring vessels), Mirrors and their handles mostly were found separately because the mirrors were packed in the bow and stern areas, but not in between and their handles were cast separately and then brazed together (Flecker 2002: (Flecker 2002: 119). A total of 795 Qingbai 青白 wares were 58). Only one mirror had its handle still attached. 86 asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 Fig. 3 The “horizontal stack” of the main consignments of cargo on the Cirebon wreck (after Liebner 2014: 458, Fig. 4.2-3) registered in the excavation report, among which 639 are Considering that the ceramic cargos were probably picked small and very small dishes (Flecker 2002: 115), but no over- up at an entrepôt port in south-eastern Sumatra, this differ- all figures are available. The distribution of these Qingbai ence is likely because the compartments were leased to several wares shows a markedly different distribution from the fine- merchants who oversaw the trade of different types of ce- paste wares. The majority of the small dishes were recovered ramics. It indicates that the cargos were owned and marketed from midships north, although there was an isolated concen- by individual merchants, rather than a single authority. tration to the south; the very small dishes appear to have been Besides the major merchandises mentioned above, there stowed all along the ship (Flecker 2002:119–120). A total of were also goods for traders in Middle Eastern glass beads 1,051 Yue 越 wares were registered in the excavation report, and glass wares, as well as 44 human bones found on the among which 148 are ewers and 297 are jars (Flecker 2002: wreck. These human bones may be indicative of the ship 106), but no overall figures are available. Yue wares were also being used in human trafficking, as usually just one or two found along the full length of the ship, but different shapes people would not be able to escape the sinking ship, so it varied in their distributions: medium sized ewers were found seems that several people had remained trapped within the from midship to south; small size ewers were found exclusive- ship, and a possible reason for this would be that the ship ly in the very north of the site; jars decorated with a fishbone was carrying slaves (Flecker 2002: 93). It appears that on pattern were found to the very south and from midships north, the ship, the trade of metal ingots and alloys was organized but none were found in the between; and lotus decorated jars by a single or few authorities, while the other commodities occur fairly uniformly all along the site (Flecker 2002: 119). were owned by different merchants. It is reasonable to assume Based on the description of the distribution patterns of the that the metals, tens of thousands of them packed densely at ceramics, we know that even though ceramics were found the bottom of the ship, was heading to a fairly limited number along the full length of the ship, the cargos were not packed of destinations, possible Java, while the other merchandizes uniformly. The stern area (the south end of the wreck site) was including ceramics might be traded at an extensive number of loaded with brown ware pots, fine-paste wares, Qingbai ports-of-call during the voyage to Java or sold at the final wares, Yue-type jars with decoration pattern of fishbone and destination with the metals as well. Java may have been this lotus, and medium sized ewers. At the bow area (the north end final destination because Java is virtually devoid of commer- of the wreck site), some of the types mentioned above such as cially extractable mineral deposits. Java needed to import all the Qingbai small dishes and Yue-type jars with the fishbone the base metals it needed: gold and silver for currency, iron for pattern were not seen, but the Yue-type small size ewers were tool making and cooking vessels, and copper and tin for cast- found exclusively in this region. Moreover, for the items ing bronze statues and vessels (Flecker 2002:81). stowed at both the stern and bow areas such as the brown ware Turningtothe Cirebonship, amid-latetenth century pots, they differed in qualities. The midships area is devoid of Southeast Asian merchant ship salvaged from the north Java fine-paste wares and mainly packed with Qingbai wares, Yue- coast (Fig. 1), the overall arrangement of its cargo is similar to type jars, and ewers. There is also a difference between the that on the Intan ship. Chinese ceramics, which dominate the midship north and south. It seems that the composition of merchandizes found, accountting for 75% of the ca. 500,000 ceramics found in certain compartments noticeably vary from retrieved items, have been found uniformly along the full the arrangement of objects un-earthed from other sections. length of the ship. Other items, including Fatimid glassware from the Middle East, many thousands of pearls and precious This assumption is based on the sinking location, the mixed cargo and the stones probably from Indian Ocean ports, several hundred kg cargo stowage pattern (tin was stowed along the full length of the ship, and of raw Afghani lapis lazuli, lead and tin ingots, and a wide beneath the ceramic cargo). asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 87 collection of aromatic substances, were distributed around one On the other hand, the distribution of the consign- or several separate consignments (Liebner 2009:16–23). ments of the “Western” merchandises in the ship’scargo Analysis and reconstruction of the wreck assumed confirms the concept of peddler trade, meaning that a that the Cirebon ship’s hold was divided by crossbeams certain type of products was owned by several small into sections similar to the compartments apportioned to merchants each of whom marketed a limited amount individual merchants described in Chinese sources and of items. There were traders in Middle Eastern glass seen in Chinese wrecks, such as the Quanzhou Bay and wares who had packed their batches of beakers and Nanhai No.1 (Liebner 2009: 33). However, the available bottles on the vessel’s foredeck, and dealers in the fine data of the distribution of ceramics cargos on the scents of Persia, whose flasks were stowed somewhere Cirebon ship indicates that the stowage pattern followed on the starboard deck (Liebner 2014:168–169). The the requirements of seamanship, instead of reflecting the jewelry found came in at least three different consign- different ownerships. Most of the ceramics (75%) on the ments, marked by contrasting proportions of the pre- Cirebon wreck were various types of green-glazed cious stones retrieved from distinct quarters of the site bowls and plates (Liebner 2009:42): these were packed (Liebner 2014:183–184). The several hundreds of in- denselyinthe lowerhold. Accordingtothe excavation gots were placed in the deep center of the hull and are report, the vast majority of the various kinds of bowls assumed to have been taken aboard after the hold had was found inside the area delimitated by the hull’sre- been filled with the Chinese trade ceramics to the fore mains, and thus initially must have been stored in the and aft (Fig. 3) (Liebner 2014: 201–202). deeper sections of the ship’s hold, while the bulk of the According to Liebner (2009: 42), the Cirebon ship was other types of ceramics were unearthed in areas sur- heading toward the island of Java, mainly due of the lack of rounding the wreck, and hence most probably had been exploitable deposits of metal ores in Java, and also because it loaded on top of the tightly stacked bowls (Liebner is not logical that traders would carry cargoes composed out of 2009: 38). Thus, the green-glazed bowls and plates were Chinese, Indian, and Middle Eastern goods toward the direc- topped by the lighter, less compact consignments of tion of the Straits of Malacca, where these commodities were jars, ewers, and kendis (Fig. 3). There is no significant traded. The reasoning is the same that for the metal ingots on difference on the longitudinal direction as we have ob- the Intan wreck, and the intended market for the ceramics on served in the Intan ceramic distribution. The only iden- the Cirebon ship would have been fairly limited, too, while tifiable “vertical stack” of specific pottery that might other products might be sold at several ports of call during the indicate an individual consignment is the concentration voyage to Java. The fact that the lower hold was filled with of white wares stowed behind the “tween-deck” (the Chinese ceramics and Chinese metal wares while non- space between the upper deck and the lower cargo hold Chinese cargo was only found in either the vicinity of the in the hull of a vessel) (Fig. 3) (Liebner 2014: 301– ‘tween-deck or above the stacks of green-glazed ceramics, 302). However, Liebner argues that this pattern could indicates that the ship took on all of the Chinese merchandise also indicate an “opportunistic” use of the cargo space first at a Chinese port, possibly Guangzhou 广州, and then still available after the green-glazed wares had been other products at some Southeast Asian ports. The distribution taken aboard (Liebner 2014: 302). In the absence of of cargo suggests that all of the cargo was not loaded together other ownership indicators, the overall arrangement of because the pragmatics of judicious loading demands that the ceramic cargos suggests that the ceramics were han- loading begin at the hold’s two extremities, gradually filling dled by a single authority. sections of cargo space to the fore and aft until the ship’s Another argument to support the assumption that the center is reached (Liebner 2014:297). purchase and handling of the ceramics on the Cirebon Based on the distribution pattern of the recovered ob- wreck was organized under a single authority is the highly jects from the Intan and Cirebon wrecks, it can be conclud- uniform character of the ceramics. 46% of the various ed that the primary cargos were loaded uniformly in the types of green-glazed bowls belongs to the < bowl 001 > lower hold of the ship, while other merchandise such as the category (Liebner 2009: 42). Moreover, not only the vast “Western” products on both wrecks, was either stowed in a majority of the green-glazed stonewares, but also much of few separate compartments, or distributed widely, but the the white wares and earthenwares are comprised of a lim- composition of certain compartments showed distinct dif- ited number of general shapes (Liebner 2014: 303). One ferences, such as the ceramics on the Intan wreck. It is indeed would expect a cargo assembled by a number of likely that the voyage of the ships was mainly conducted individual merchants to exhibit a much greater diversity at the request of one or only a few authorities with abun- of shapes and types of ceramics, collected from a much dant assets who could carry out bulk selling, and the re- wider range of producers, as can been seen on the Intan maining space was leased to some individual traders who ship. did retail business. 88 asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 2 The distribution of cargo on the Nanhai According to the excavation reports, so far, the recovered ce- No.1 and the Quanzhou Bay wrecks ramics are mainly assigned to six kiln complexes: Jingdezhen 景德镇, Longquan龙泉, Dehua德化,Cizao磁灶, Minqingyi闽清 The available data indicates that in contrast to the Intan and 义 andJiankiln 建窑, which nearly covers all of the Chinese Cirebon wrecks, the major cargos of the Nanhai No.1 and ceramics types exported to the Southeast Asian region during Quanzhou Bay wrecks, were owned or marketed by various the Southern Song dynasty (Nanhai No.1 2011, 2018). Overall merchants. speaking, ceramics shape found include bowls, plates, jars, bot- The Nanhai No.1 wreck was a mid-thirteenth century Chinese tles, vases, boxes, cups, and small dishes. The ceramic cargos merchant ship destined for Southeast Asia, but which sunk short- from each cabin vary in vessel shapes and types, as seen in ly after its renovation at Guangzhou (Fig. 4) (Nanhai No.1 2011). Table 1. It is worth noting again that variation in the cargo The ship structure of Nanhai No.1 is well preserved, with four- amongst compartments is not necessarily caused by different teen crossbeams that divided the Nanhai No.1 wreck into fifteen ownership. There are two other explanations. First, it could be compartments (Wang and Xiao 2016). The consignments in each because the cargo was picked up at different ports. For example, compartment varied. According to the 2016 excavation report of hypothetically, if products from kiln sites near Fuzhou, such as the Nanhai No.1 wreck, the bulk of the cargos was Chinese Longquan, Jingdezhen, Minqingyi and North Fujian, were load- ceramics and iron wares, such as pots and nails (Wang and ed at Fuzhou while ceramics made at regions adjacent to Xiao 2016). The ceramics were placed inside the cabin while Quanzhou, such as Dehua and Cizao, were loaded at the iron wares were mainly located on the deck with some on Quanzhou, then cargos in (any) certain compartments would top of the ceramics, which indicates that ceramics were loaded differ in provenance and vessel shapes. In such a case, it is first. Ceramics and iron wares were found along the full length of reasonable to assume that merchandise from the same production the ship but were not loaded uniformly. Due to the lack of avail- sites would be packed in the same vicinity. However, on the able data regarding the other findings on the deck and the total Nanhai No.1 wreck, besides the Jian wares and Minqingyi wares, weight or volume of the iron wares, it is difficult to conclude ceramics from the same kiln complexes tend to be distributed whether the placement of the iron wares was a reflection of dispersedly (Table 1), which indicates that such an explanation different ownership or was in order to maximize the usage of does not fit into the ceramic distribution pattern of the Nanhai space. Therefore, I will mainly address the distribution of the No.1 wreck. ceramic cargos. The second explanation is that a single authority purchased Compared with the ceramic cargos on the Intan and Cirebon ceramic cargos from various resellers who handled products orig- wrecks, which as mentioned above are each mainly dominated inating from different kiln sites, which would lead to variation in by one specific type of vessel, the ceramics cargo on the Nanhai provenance, quantity, quality, vessel shape and decoration be- No.1 wreck displays a much more diverse composition. tween certain compartments. The Nanhai No. 1 wreck does Fig. 4 The locations of the Nanhai No. 1 and Quanzhou Bay shipwrecks asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 89 Table 1 The distribution of ceramics on the Nanhai No.1 wreck Cabin No.2 No.3 No.4 No.5 No.6 No.7 No.8 No.9 No.10 No.11 No.12 No.13 No.14 Stern Stern (left) (right) Jingdezhen Qingbai ware (bowls) √√ √ Jingdezhen Qingbai ware (plates) √ Jingdezhen Qingbai ware (cups) √√ Longquan celadon (bowls/plates) √√√√ √√ √ √ √ Longquan celadon (dishes) √ Longquan celadon (cups) √ Dehua white wares (bowls/plates) √√√√ √√√ √ √ √ √ Dehua white wares (vases with √√ √ flared rim) Dehua white wares (boxes) √√ √ √ √ Dehua white wares (double gourd √ vases) Dehua white wares (bottles) √√ √ Dehua white wares (jars with two √√ handles) Dehua white wares (jars with four √√ handles) Cizao brown wares (jars) √√ √ √ Cizao brown wares (meiping vases) √√√√ √ Cizao green wares (dishes) √ Cizao green wares (vases) √ Minqingyi green wares (bowls) √ √ √√ √√ Jian black wares (cups) √ source: Wang and Xiao 2016 include some variation in vessel decoration between cabins. For compartments were only found to contain bowls (as in cabins 11, example, a lobed rim is a decoration seen on all of the Qingbai 12, 13) while others also comprised vessels of various forms, bowls from the Nanhai No. 1 wreck, but ones with concentric such as cabin 8, which included small dishes, big and small jars, rings of petals and incised with the “children at play figure” are bottles, and vases along with the bowls (Fig. 5). Therefore, the exclusively found in cabin 5. The same goes for the green-glazed most plausible theory to explain the cargo variation between bowls of the Longquan kiln complex: while incised plants and (any) certain compartment on the Nanhai No.1 wreck is that flowers are the most commonly seen design, small bowls with the ceramics were owned by multiple traders who marketed dif- raised lines on the exterior were only found in cabin 8. Under this ferent types of products. And the difference in ceramic types and assumption of single ownership of the cargo, when loading the vessel shapes among cabins, and the appearance of some unique ship, the major consideration would have been to maximize the decoration in a specific compartment are likely due to the choices use of cabin space, to reduce the cargo breakage rate, and of individual merchants. balancing the ship for safe sailing, in which case the densely- Further analysis on the placement of the ceramic cargos on packed bowls and dishes would be placed together at the bottom the Nanhai No.1 suggests the possible existence of two mer- hold as ballast and then topped by other vessels just as what has chant groups who marketed products of different quality. The been observed on the Cirebon wreck. However, on the Nanhai fine Jingdezhen wares were mainly discovered in the fore No.1 wreck, the arrangement does not follow this pattern: some cabins (cabin 2 to 8). One stern cabin also had find Fig. 5 The distribution of ceramic cargo in each cabin of the Nanhai No.1 wreck, modelled after the 2014 excavation report (Wang and Xiao 2016) 90 asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 Fig. 6 Dehua white wares with the “Linshang” ink mark from the Nanhai No. 1 wreck (after Nanhai No. 1 2011: 56, 61, 62, 72) Jingdezhen wares, but this might have been the living cham- glaze, the smoothness of the surface, and the finish ber, and the ceramics stacked there could have been used for touch of the edge, Jingdezhen Qingbai wares exceed display or daily utensils for the rich on board. In support of Minqingyi wares. The distinct placement of these two this, some golden ornaments were also discovered in the stern types indicates that in maritime ceramic trade during the cabin, which probably were the personal belongings of the Southern Song Dynasty, even the peddlers had special- rich merchants, as well as some delicate lacquered boxes ized in products of different types and quality and and plates (Wang and Xiao 2016). These findings all suggest aimed for different markets. that people of wealth were on board, and it is reasonable to The analysis of the ink marks found on some vessels assume that they could and would choose the ceramics of further supports the assumption drawn from the cargo higher quality for their daily use. The aft hold (cabins 9 to distribution that the ceramics on the Nanhai No.1 wreck 14), on the other hand, was mainly composed by wares from were owned by multiple merchants. Several studies show Fujian kilns. Moreover, in terms of the vessel’s types and that ink marks served the purpose of labelling ownership decorations, the ceramic cargos of the fore compartments are rather than as advertising or for anti-forgery. Multiple more diverse than those of the aft regions (Table 1). If more vessels on the Nanhai No.1 wreck bear ink marks on investment in craftsmanship results in higher value and hence their bases, and the majority of the marks are names of higher price, then ceramics of the bow and stern cabins were merchants, among which “Lin Shang 林上” is commonly supposed to cater to consumers of different purchasing power. seen (Nanhai No.1 2011:71–73). “Lin” should be the The former were sold to the rich, while the latter were surname and “Shang” could be an indication of the po- intended for the common folks. Why there was such separate sition of the cargo in the cabin or the given name of the arrangement is unclear. But it is reasonable to assume that if merchant. The wares with the “Lin Shang” mark on their the combined value of the ceramic cargos in the fore cabins is base were all surfaced from one location, which is said higher than that of the aft cabins, then merchants who owned to be the front left compartment (Chen 2013). Moreover, the cargos of higher value tended to be richer and of higher despite of the fact that green wares and brown wares status. Hence, there were two different merchant groups on were also found at the same location, the mark only board and the hold was assigned accordingly. appeared on ceramics of Dehua kilns, including big Another interesting finding regarding the placement plates, bowls, and small boxes (Fig. 6). It indicates that of the ceramics cargo is that in every cabin, Qingbai Lin was a merchant specially dealing with Dehua white bowls from the Jingdezhen kiln complex are not found wares, and his cargo was all placed together. These find- together with Qingbai bowls of Minqingyi kiln complex ings further support my conclusion that the ceramics on (Table 1). The Minqingyi kiln products, though named the Nanhai No.1 wreck were owned by multiple mer- green-glazed wares in the 2014 excavation report, in my opinion, more resemble the glaze colour of Qingbai wares. In terms of the purity of the clay, the gloss of The domestic findings of ceramics in China with ink marks are mainly from town sites and temples rather than kiln sites (Zhang 2016), which indicates that inks marks mainly appear on consumed objects instead of newly produced products. The characters in the marks mostly refer to names and titles, while The major products of the Minqingyi kiln during the period of Southern others indicate location or blessing words. It appears that writing ink marks on Song Dynasty, according to the kiln site excavation report, are Qingbai wares the purchased items was a common behavior among consumers. The discov- with only a few green glazed and brown wares were recovered (Yang 2016). ery on the Tanjung Simpang shipwreck further supports this assumption. On Other works on the ceramics cargo of Nanhai No.1 wreck all refer the the Tanjung Simpang wreck, same marks are found on ceramics as well as on Minqingyi kiln wares as Qingbai instead of green glazed (Nanhai No.1 one stack of gongs (https://maritimeasia.ws/tsimpang/marks.html, accessed on 2018). More importantly, during my own visit to the wreck museum, I also 17/03/2020). It suggests that the set of marks identifies not the potter but rather could confirm the fact that compared with the Longquan celadon, the glaze the owner or merchant, who would need to identify his own goods at the ship’s color of the Minqingyi kiln wares is more similar to the Jingdezhen Qingbai destination. wares. asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 91 Fig. 7 The Quanzhou Bay wreck when first recovered (after Quanzhou 1975:plate 6) chants, and some of these merchants might have special- Nanwai zong zheng si 南外宗正司 (the Southern Exterior ized in one specific types of products. Imperial Branch Household). The rest of the names can The Quanzhou Bay wreck, unlike the wrecks above be divided into three groups: job titles, individual merchants whichsankduringtheir waytothe next ports andwere or shops, and imperial clans. There are three types of job titles found with all their cargos on board on the seabed, was found, senior officers, crew members and servants working unearthed in the cultural layer of the Houzhu 后渚 port for the big house (Fu 1989). It is of note that the wooden tags site in Quanzhou (Fig. 4) and the majority of the cargo with the same characters tended to be closely distributed and was absent (Quanzhou 1975). According to the recon- mainly in cabins 5 and 6. For example, among the seventeen struction of the ship conducted by Green and wooden tags with Nan jia ji hao南家记号, sixteen were located Burningham (1998), the bottom was relatively intact in compartment 6 and one in compartment 5. Of the eleven while the upper hull was deliberately removed (Fig. wooden tags with Ceng gan Shui ji 曾幹水记, six were found 7). It seems that after making it back to Quanzhou, in compartment 5, four in compartment 6, and one in com- the ship was caught into some accident. The consider- partment 3 (Table 2). But the majority of the names on the ation of historical records and the discoveries of wooden tags appear only one time each, such as the names of valuable spice and timber on the shipwreck leads Chen crew members and individual merchants or shops, and they and Wu (1978) to posit that the ship was destroyed usually located quite separately (Table 2). Crew members’ during warfare at Quanzhou in 1277. They argue that names might appear in what could have been spare space in before the siege of Quanzhou, the majority of cargo on the compartments given for use by the crew as payment for board had already been sold, and when war broke out, working on the ship. The distribution of the tags for the indi- since the ship was still berthed at the port, the ship was vidual merchants or shops may have been because they did destroyed and the remaining cargo lost. Hence, even not have sufficient money to organize their own seagoing though most of the cargos had been off-boarded, some journey, or for the sake of risk assessment, they rented some were still left behind when the ship was destroyed, to space in other people’s ships to conduct their business. be recovered on the wreck. The intact bottom of the The wooden tags suggest that, just as the ceramics were on Quanzhou wreck reveals that there were originally the Nanhai No.1 wreck, the main cargo on the Quanzhou Bay twelve crossbeams and thirteen compartments. From the shipwreck, 2350 kg of wood incense (not Besides Fu (1989), other interpretations of the tags come from Chen and Wu dehydrated, originating from the Malay region including (1978), Zhuang and Zhuang (1980). The biggest difference between their opinions concerns the name “Nanjia”. Chen and Wu believes that Nanjia gharuwood, sandalwood, and lakawood), spice (mainly was a discriminatory word used by the Northerners to refer to the pepper), 504 coins, and dozens of ceramics were recovered Southerners during the Jin and Yuan dynasties (Chen and Wu 1978). (Quanzhou 1975). But the most interesting finds are However, I find this interpretation not convincing. Because the ship was dam- aged due to the counterattack of the Song army against the Yuan army in 1277, ninety-five pieces of the wooden tags which were discov- by which time even though the ruling of the Song court was bound to end, the ered in every cabin except cabins 4, 8, and 10, as seen in discrimination policy against the Southerners conducted by the Yuan dynasty Table 2. The wooden tags were found among the remains would not be widely implemented and accepted yet. Zhuang and Zhuang of the cargo, some with strings still attached to them (Fig. (1980) argue that Nanjia was the abbreviation for the merchants or shops that sold Southeast Asian products (Zhuang and Zhuang 1980). Considering that 8). It is obvious that they were once fastened to the cargos almost all the merchandise recovered from the shipwreck originated from and used to label the ownerships. Among the identified Southeast Asia, this interpretation does not make much sense either. By com- characters on the wooden tags, Nanjia 南家 is the one that parison, Fu’s argument that Nanjia refered to Nanwai zong zheng si is more logical. Moreover, under this interpretation, other names, such as Zhuku guoji the most common, and seen seventeen times, mainly in 朱库国记, Chousi 稠司, Anjun 安郡ect., all have a reasonable explanation as cabin 6. Fu (1989) interprets the characters as referring to well. 92 asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 Fig. 8 Wooden tags from the Quanzhou Bay wreck (photo courtesy of the Quanzhou Maritime Musuem Fujian) wreck—the incense wood–was owned by a number of differ- single merchant or shop were probably loaded at a single port, ent merchants, some of whom organized relatively larger vol- some would have imported large amounts of products from umes of trade while the majority being peddlers. This assump- one place. One indeed could propose the existence of well- tion is drawn from the fact that the wooden tags for each name established relationships between some production sites and varied in number. The close distribution of the wooden tags their “bulk clients,” which allowed for regular supply, trans- with the same characters indicates that the cargos owned by a port and initial marketing of substantial amounts of products. Table 2 The distribution of wooden tags on the Quanzhou Bay Wreck Cabin No.1 No.2 No.3 No.4 No.5 No.6 No.7 No.8 No.9 No.10 No.11 No.12 No.13 Names on the wooden tags Chang Jun 昶郡 14 He Jun 河郡 1 Zhao Jun 兆郡 1 An Jun 安郡 1 ?Jun ?郡 1 Dahe Jun? 大和郡? 1 Xihe Jianggua 西河酱瓜 1 Cenggan Shuiji 曾幹水记 16 4 Lingan Shuiji 林幹水记 12 2 Zhanggan Shuiji 张幹水记 1 Gan Ji 幹记 1 Wuxing Shuiji 吴兴水记 1 Wuxing 吴兴 13 Qiuding Shuiji 丘碇水记 1 ?? Shuiji ??水记 31 Zhuku Guoji 朱库国记 1 Chengong Xiaoji 陈工小记 1 Li ?Xiangji 礼?香记 1 Nanjia Jihao 南家记号 1 Nanjia 南家 116 Goujian Jihao ?? 狗间记号?? 1 Jihao 记号 1 Ceng Gan 曾干 12 Zhang Gan 张干 1 Ya Li 哑哩 1 Xiao Cheng 小陈 1 Zhang Shi 张什 1 Zhang Ban 张绊 1 Wang Mei 王美 1 Yang Gong 杨工 1 You Gong 尤工 1 Sanjiu Gong 三九工 1 Liu Shi 六十 1 Shan Zhong 山中 1 Anchu Ji 安厨记 1 Chou Si 稠司(Probably) 1 Unidentified character 6 2 2 No words 1 3 1 1 2 source: Quanzhou 1975 asian archaeol (2020) 3:83–93 93 Winds. Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Smithsonian Institution, 3 Conclusion Washington, DC, pp 101–119 Fu, Zongwen傅宗文. 1989. “Houzhu gu chuan: Song ji nan wai zong shi hai Between the tenth to thirteenth centuries, the mode of maritime wai jing shang wu zheng—gu chuan pai qian yan jiu bing yi ci ji nian gu commerce and trade in the South China Sea changes. In the tenth chuan chu tu 15 zhou nian后渚古船:宋季南外宗室海外经商的物证——古 船牌签研究并以此纪念古船出土15周年 (Houzhu shipwreck: the evidence century, as represented by the Intan and Cirebon shipwrecks, the of the involvement of the Southern Exterior Imperial Branch Household trade of major cargo was organized by a few or a single authority, in maritime commerce—a study of the wooden tags and to commem- possibly the state government, with ships heading toward limited orate the fifteen years anniversary of the discovery of the shipwreck). destinations. During the later period, as the case studies of the Hai jiao shi yan jiu 海交史研究 1989.2: 77-83. Green, J., and N. Burningham. 1998. The ship from Quanzhou, Fujian Nanhai No.1 and Quanzhou Bay wrecks show, the sea-borne Province, People’s Republic of China. International Journal of journey was mainly a profit-oriented adventure participated in Nautical Archaeology 1998(4):277–301 by individual merchants whose identities were not limited to Li, Jian’an 栗建安. 2001. Cong shui xia kao gu de fa xian kan Fujian gu traders with an official background or abundant assets—they dai ci qi de wai xiao 从水下考古的发现看福建古代陶瓷器的外销 (A study on the export of Fujian ancient ceramics based on the under- could include those of lower social status such as sailors, small water discoveries). Hai jiao shi yan jiu 海交史研究 2001.1: 98-106. merchants, or plain citizens who wished to earn additional in- Liebner, Horst Hubertus. 2009. Cargoes for Java: interpreting two 10th come by investing in this risky business. The shipwrecks carry- century shipwrecks. Paper presented to the 13th International ing cargos of various types and different quality and handled by Conference of the European Association of Southeast Asian Archaeology, Berlin. multiple owners were more likely to have had planned voyages Liebner, Horst Hubertus. 2014. The Siren of Cirebon–ATenth-Century with calls at a number of ports, rather than just heading toward an Trading Vessel Lost in the Java Sea. Ph.D, dissertation, The entrepôt. It was a peddler trade, and some of the peddlers would University of Leeds. have specialized in a specific type of product. The development Manguin, P-Y. 1993. Trading ships of the South China Sea. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 36(3):253–280 of sea-borne trade and the change in identities of the maritime Nanhai No. 1 2011. 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Published: Jul 14, 2020