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Sultan's Lost Treasure

Program Overview


NOVA follows archeologist Michel L'Hour and his team as they attempt to salvage an ancient shipwreck in one of the largest marine archeological projects ever undertaken.

The program:

  • tracks divers as they descend 197 feet (60 meters) to place large metal grids on the ocean floor around the wreck, which will enable archeologists to plot the site.

  • notes that the shipwreck lays at the center of what used to be a vast trading network that included ports in China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Borneo.

  • traces the first of China's seven great 15th-century trading expeditions.

  • relates reasons why China decided to decrease its maritime presence and limit foreign trade.

  • details how more than 15,000 different items were recovered, many with origins in different ports of late 15th-century Asia.

  • depicts how artifacts are restored, dated, and catalogued.

  • includes a computer simulation of what the ship originally might have looked like, and how its items have been distributed.

  • notes that many years of continued research on the artifacts is necessary before all the items will be identified and catalogued.

Teacher's Guide
Sultan's Lost Treasure
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