"Sultan's Lost Treasure"

PBS Airdate: January 16, 2001
Go to the companion Web site

NARRATOR: The year is 1492. In three frail boats Christopher Columbus heads west across the Atlantic Ocean. Half a world away, on the South China Sea, another ship is embarking on a very different kind of journey. In its hold lay the riches of the Far East—intricately embroidered silks and the finest vessels of delicately painted porcelain. These were the treasures that Columbus could only dream of and only China could create.

WANG GUNGWU (Dir., East Asian Inst., Singapore): Between the 13th and the 16th century, China was the greatest industrial power. Not only in Asia—I would say in the world. The quality of what China was producing during that period was simply staggering to the vast majority of the consumers in the known world at the time.

NARRATOR: The riches of China were carried on ships called "junks." With bamboo sails, these highly maneuverable vessels traveled to markets throughout Southeast Asia. Some journeyed even further.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY (Art Historian, Clark University): The Chinese trade network was larger than anything that the Europeans had at that time. It was really incredibly extensive, going from Japan in the east all the way to East Africa.

NARRATOR: Sailing near the Sultanate of Brunei, one trading vessel in this vast maritime network never reached its destination. Perhaps encountering rough seas or overwhelmed by pirates, it foundered, sending its precious cargo to the bottom of the sea.

For 500 years it has rested here—out of reach until now. Soon, a matchless array of priceless artifacts will emerge from the ocean mud. What will they tell us about this lost age of wealth and commerce when China ruled the sea?

Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation, dedicated to education and quality television.

Scientific achievement is fueled by the simple desire to make things clear. Sprint PCS is proud to support NOVA.

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And by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you. Thank you.

NARRATOR: Prospectors searching for oil near the Sultanate of Brunei stumble upon this incredible find—a mysterious cargo of jars and Chinese porcelain spilled across the ocean floor. Its discovery prompts one of the largest excavations ever attempted at sea. And for the archaeologists it will be a race against time.

A lone, red buoy marks the wreck site, where a huge 200-foot barge now lies anchored. This floating laboratory will be home to an international team of excavation specialists. In the coming weeks, they will need all their skills to recover the massive cargo below.

French archaeologist, Michel L'Hour is the expedition leader. He will be working alongside Jerzy Gawronski, a Dutch naval archaeology expert. Between them, they have decades of experience in the recovery of lost ships, but this project will prove their most challenging.

With operating costs averaging $65,000 a day, the team has only eight weeks to complete the excavation. Despite the pressure of time, nothing can be taken from the site until a reference grid is first installed. These metal frames will allow divers to plot the location of each artifact before they remove it.

The wreck lies in 200 feet of water, a depth that will severely limit the time they'll be able to spend at the bottom. Most of the divers here have worked on oil rigs - a lucrative business in this part of the world.

The divers breathe a mixture of helium and oxygen fed directly from the surface. They are totally dependent on the vigilance of the head-divers on the barge. The slightest error in regulating the pumps could prove fatal. Nitrogen is removed from their air supply and is replaced with helium. Because it is less dense, helium will not build up in their body tissue as readily as nitrogen. It also raises the tenor of the their voices considerably.

For many days, the divers have had to work in near zero visibility, but today, the wreck comes clearly into view. The site is enormous, stretching out for hundreds of feet across the ocean floor.

This wreck was found off the north coast of Borneo, near the Sultanate of Brunei. The harbor at Brunei was once one of the most active in the South China Sea, strategically located not far from the thriving commercial markets of Thailand, Vietnam and China. For centuries, cargo ships from all over Southeast Asia crowded Brunei's port, laden with goods for trade. One of the most prized imports was Chinese blue and white porcelain.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY (Art Historian, Clark University): Southeast Asian people did a lot more than eat off these objects or store liquids in them. They were also very closely associated with religion. But what made porcelain so desirable and completely different from other ceramics was the fact that it rang when you hit it. It made a "ding" sound—like a bell. That bell-like sound was considered by the people who lived there a magic sound. It was actually integrated into their ritual. And so it had actual magical properties.

NARRATOR: To afford luxuries like porcelain, the islanders harvested Brunei's rich natural resources. They gathered wood, gold and painkilling camphor and brought them to market for trade. But when the islanders met with visiting Chinese merchants, it was never a simple exchange of goods.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY: There is a great ritual to do with acquiring Chinese ceramics in Southeast Asia. There was usually a special platform erected. The Chinese would be received in this special ritual space. They would be presented with natural products by the local ruler, and then a barter—trade—would take place. The local ruler controlled that trade. It was very important. So it was not a case of...kind of...people coming to the open market and buying Chinese pots.

NARRATOR: This treasure never made it to the market in Brunei.

With the reference grid in place, the archaeologists now face the demanding challenge of raising the cargo to the surface. It's time for the excavation to begin. In the coming weeks, the padded interior of this basket will be carefully filled by hand, one fragile piece at a time.

But as divers begin to pull objects from the mud, a blizzard of silt quickly envelops them. They will learn to trust their hands as well as their eyes for guidance.

Once the signal is given, the crane above begins to pull this much-anticipated basket to the surface. After centuries on the ocean floor, the scars are evident. Caked in mud the plates and dishes are at first hard to identify. How old are they? And where were they made?

Michel L'Hour finds himself holding an exquisite piece of Chinese blue and white porcelain.

MICHEL L'HOUR (Expedition Leader): This is a piece of traditional Chinese porcelain with a very attractive blue and white design. It is very beautiful, quite fine, and seems remarkably well preserved. We weren't totally sure of what we would find since a lot of the objects are piled one on top of the other. Even so, we suspected that the objects we retrieved from the mud would be very well preserved, but these objects are in perfect condition. There's an odd scratch here and there but the designs are very beautiful—well executed...and really fine pieces.

NARRATOR: The blue and white plate he cleaned turns out to be only the first of many. The second basket reveals a complete set of these dishes.

Michel L'Hour looks for clues that might suggest their age. He believes they are from a period during the Ming dynasty when China was at the height of its maritime power, commanding a seafaring force larger than any other on earth.

And it was a eunuch, chosen by the emperor himself, that was put in charge of it all. His name was Zheng He.

In 1405, Zheng He embarked on the first of seven voyages. His mission was to search out trading partners for China and to enhance the prestige of the new Ming emperor. He carried rich silks and porcelains on some of the grandest sailing vessels ever built.

Compared with European craft of the day, China's mightiest ships, the treasure junks, were giants. Over 400 feet long and 160 feet wide, these leviathans were powered by bamboo sails on nine masts that could be set to catch any angle of the wind. Below deck, they carried an immense cargo of trade goods including livestock from as far away as Africa. Each of the ship's watertight compartments could be flooded and used as a fish tank or washing area. On their great expeditions, these treasure junks were escorted by hundreds of support vessels.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY: Slightly smaller, were what were called "the gallopers," or the horse junks, where they kept the horses. There were grain junks to feed the horses. There were army junks for the soldiers. And also, private merchant junks came along with Zheng He's fleet. So it was a huge event in seafaring history.

NARRATOR: On his epic voyages, Zheng He reached as far as Mecca in the North...and Zanzibar in the West. Some even claim that he reached the southern ocean and then on to Australia.

WANG GUNGWU: Never, in the whole history of Asia had such a large naval expedition gone out of China or gone that far. Seeing all these ships arrive at any harbor, I think, would have been extremely impressive at the time. There had never been anything like that before.

NARRATOR: But this vast maritime force soon proved too expensive to maintain. Zheng He had come back from his voyages with some truly exotic gifts, but in the eyes of the court, he had found nothing in the outside world China truly needed. In the mid-1400s, the emperor ordered the dismantling of Zheng He's fleet, ending an astonishing episode in maritime history. Remarkably, remnants of Zheng He's great expeditions linger on even today.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY: The porcelain that Zheng He brought, personally—the porcelain that was brought by people who traveled with him—has been found on the beaches of Aden, of Yemen, of Kenya, of Tanzania—really washed up all over the east. Porcelain is very easy to break but very hard to destroy.

NARRATOR: But Chinese porcelain was not the only material strong enough to survive the ages. These massive jars pulled from the Brunei wreck are made of a type of ceramic called stoneware. Their strength made them ideal for storing and transporting goods and ensured that they were highly valued in the trade network that thrived here centuries ago.

Hoping that traces may remain of whatever was stored inside, the archaeologists carefully screen the contents of the jars. Every bit of residue is collected.

And as each jar is tagged, they note that none of them appears to be from China. These large vessels of coarse, semi-glazed stoneware are typical of pottery made in Thailand. While the smaller, more delicate jars, carved with decoration at their crown, are Vietnamese in style.

For the archaeologists, this mixture of origins provides a tantalizing clue hinting that the ship may not have been Chinese after all. But the jars are of little help in determining the age of the wreck.

JERZY GAWRONSKI (Dutch Naval Archaeology Expert): It's a very common product which is used for transport and the storage of all different kinds of goods, both liquid and solid. Because it's very common, it's very difficult to date because this type of ceramic has been used for many centuries.

NARRATOR: The precise age of the Brunei wreck will have to be investigated later, when the stoneware and porcelain are moved off the boat and into the lab.

At the end of each day, the artifacts are carefully loaded onto a Brunei Navy ship. Since pirate attacks are common in this region, security is tight. This lost treasure is nearing what may have been its original destination—the Sultanate of Brunei.

An archaeology lab set up specifically for the excavation sits in a jungle clearing near the capitol city of Bandar. Here, the painstaking work of restoring and cataloguing the finds has already begun. In only the first few days of excavation, over 800 items are shipped here, all in need of attention.

On his first trip to the lab, Michel L'Hour consults with Chinese porcelain expert Michele Pirazzoli. Together they are seeking evidence that could date the age of the wreck and its cargo.

Since stoneware jars changed little over the centuries, they offer few clues. But the porcelain dishes tell a different story.

Michele Pirazzoli knows that even though Chinese artisans have used the same designs on porcelain for centuries, the style of their decoration was constantly changing. She compares the style of items from the cargo with similar vessels found in dated tombs in China. This comparison finally allows Michele Pirazzoli to pinpoint the age of the porcelain to within 20 or 30 years of its manufacture.

MICHELE PIRAZZOLI (Dir. Chinese Arch., Sorbonne): This type of porcelain was made in the north of Jiangxi province, in the town of Jingdezhen, which was a major porcelain-making center from the 14th century onwards. The blue and white porcelain was painted with cobalt and then covered with a transparent glaze. The decoration on these dishes is typical of the late 15th century.

NARRATOR: It is a significant discovery. The clues now indicate that the Brunei junk sank half a century after Zheng He's expeditions, during a time of increasing isolation for the empire. By the late 15th century the emperors had banned all forms of seafaring trade. Foreign merchants were now forced to come to China for the products they so eagerly wanted, and to deal directly with its rigid bureaucracy.

WANG GUNGWU: No private Chinese traders were allowed out of China. All the trade that least officially...was the foreigners bringing tribute to China. And then trading on Chinese soil. The Chinese traders who got a piece of that market had a bit of trade. But for the rest there was nothing.

NARRATOR: Unwilling to abandon the lucrative trade in export goods, many Chinese merchants turned to smuggling. This was the world in which the Brunei ship navigated.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY: Smuggling was big business in Southeast Asia because China pursued, at least officially, a policy of no trade. And Southeast Asian merchants who made their living off Chinese trade had to continue this trade as smuggling. The fact that the emperors repeated this edict every few years showed that the smuggling in fact was quite prosperous.

NARRATOR: If caught by Chinese coastal patrols, the penalties were great. But so were the rewards. Many merchants grew rich from this illicit trade. Others would die trying.

With just a few weeks left to complete the excavation, the weather turns violent. By morning, the storm is raging. Buffeted by the waves, the barge shakes violently. The tugboat tied alongside the barge is forced to take to the sea before it breaks loose from its moorings. And when the Brunei Navy ship arrives to collect its daily shipment of artifacts, it, too, runs into trouble.

Michel L'Hour prefers to call off the maneuver. There will be no transfer today. Until the sea subsides, all activity aboard the salvage vessel must stop. The crew watches helplessly as they lose their most precious commodity—time.

When the sea finally does calm, the sun becomes unrelenting. Temperatures soar to over 100 degrees. But the team must push on. Over half the wreck has not yet been excavated.

Meanwhile, stoneware jars are continually surfacing. Over 1000 have already been pulled from the ocean floor. But despite the hard physical labor, their efforts are constantly rewarded, for every day something new is uncovered.

MICHEL L'HOUR: There is truly an extraordinary variety of objects—really extraordinary. There would have been something to suit everybody's tastes—some highly ornate pieces and others which were more sparsely decorated. But what really worries me is that we can't spend a year and a half here. Working conditions are too difficult. This is probably the most difficult site I've ever worked on. We may have the means to accomplish the job, but you can only do so much in one day. Even if everyone works flat out, there is still a lot of ground to cover and respecting safety regulations slows down the whole process. I'm not anxious by nature so I'm not panicking yet, but time is running out. We'll see.

NARRATOR: It is difficult to speed up the process. Even a tiny fragment can turn out to be important.

JERZY GAWRONSKI: I think it's very interesting to be able to reconstruct the ship in its totality. Not only bring up some porcelain or bring up some ceramics, but bring up everything and then try to jigsaw the puzzle together.

NARRATOR: Officials from the Sultanate of Brunei, which is partly funding the excavation, are regular visitors to the barge. And while they are here to monitor the team's progress, the officials are also drawn into the moment of discovery as objects appear on the deck. These are relics of Brunei's golden age of trade.

If ceramics and spices drove the market 500 years ago, today it is oil money that has brought riches back to the Islamic monarchy of Brunei. In the capital, Bandar, public squares are covered in marble and the mosques are decorated with gold. The citizens of Brunei are among the richest in the Asian-Pacific. They pay no income tax and education and medical services are free.

The Sultan of Brunei is one of the richest men on earth, with a net worth estimated at over 15 billion dollars. But perhaps more astonishing than his personal wealth is his family history. Muda Hassanal Bolkiah is a direct descendant of the oldest ruling dynasty in the world. It is a heritage as ancient as the lost treasure now being restored in the laboratory.

The Army guards this facility around the clock, monitoring the movements of everyone that enters or exits. The lab begins to take on the appearance of a traditional market place.

And even at this early stage of analysis, one crucial fact is already clear, the dishes recovered at the wreck site consist mostly of less refined porcelain manufactured for a general population. While not as impressive as the porcelain masterpieces that have survived in museums and palaces, these humbler dishes provide insights into the everyday lives of Southeast Asians.

And the thousands under study here are of particular value to the archaeologists since an entire collection from this age has rarely been found before, and never off the coast of Brunei.

Examples of this type of porcelain have in the past shown up mostly in tombs. These jarlets were an especially popular burial item for the island natives of Indonesia. Because of its importance, even flawed objects were valued. This Kendi would have likely found an eager buyer despite its rather troubling defect. By comparison with any other wares that were available at the time, porcelain had a special allure.

MICHELE PIRAZZOLI: Only the Chinese manufactured this type of hard, translucent, white porcelain. It was considered far healthier, cleaner and more pleasant to eat off of a porcelain plate than one made of terracotta. People were fascinated by its smoothness, color and brightness.

NARRATOR: For centuries, the art of making porcelain remained unknown outside of China. One secret was in the clay. It contained an ingredient, feldspar, found in the local rock of southern China.

But it was not just the clay that made Chinese porcelain so remarkable. It was also the decoration. Cobalt blue was chosen as an underglaze paint for it was the only type of pigment that would not burn away during firing.

Exposure to extremely high temperatures gave porcelain its unique strength. This was China's other secret—creating ovens that could sustain a constant temperature of over 2600 degrees.

From the 1300s on, much of China's porcelain was manufactured in the town of Jingdezhen. At the height of production, the kilns here were producing thousands of pieces each day.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY: I think the only thing comparable to the production of the Jingdezhen kilns is the Industrial Era in Europe. Suddenly we go from a domestic market—just a few people, especially nobility and well off people, buying a few monochrome ceramics to put in their tombs or decorate their houses with...we suddenly get this huge market. Suddenly the entire world is buying these in great numbers.

WANG GUNGWU: During the 15th century, porcelain began to become more and more important. In fact, from then onward, porcelain from China became a major item of trade. That probably was the turning point when porcelain began to take a larger slice of the commodity market.

NARRATOR: Some of the highest quality porcelain was made for the Imperial court. But few could afford these spectacular pieces, and to sell products abroad, the Chinese learned to cater to the needs of less-affluent markets.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY: In fact, the very first blue and whites that anyone has found in China, which are probably early 14th century, were made for a Southeast Asian market. And they were very small little jarlets, round or square, that had very simple flower or geometrical patterns on them.

NARRATOR: These jarlets were found on the Brunei wreck, along with this Kendi. Used for pouring liquids and medicines, Kendi's were also prized as burial items.

GAUVIN ALEXANDER BAILEY: These shapes appealed to Southeast Asian buyers. They were inexpensive. They were small. But they also related to indigenous ritual practices.

NARRATOR: And even though they were made for outsiders in foreign lands, many were decorated with symbols important in Chinese culture, from dragons to Kylins—a mythological animal which symbolizes absolute good. The crane also emerges as an important creature in this ancient menagerie. In the Taoist religion, it represents long life. Depicting the cultivated way of life of the elite, genre scenes were also immensely popular. It took just a few brushstrokes to evoke the idyllic existence of the cultured classes.

These traditional motifs probably meant little to Brunei's Muslim population. But they were certainly appreciated for their beauty.

In the lab, cataloguing and recording the designs demands artistry and attention to detail. Some of the collection's more unique items are documented with a variety of techniques. Here, motifs are traced on to a sheet of acetate.

Other tools allow artists to measure and draw facsimiles with a clarity that is superior to that of any photograph. Short of making an exact model of the piece, this is the next best thing. The scale of the renderings is precise. After the designs are painstakingly copied, some are then painted by hand. The process helps replicate the original artist's approach, capturing its color and richness in a way no other method can. Five centuries later the porcelain is as alluring as ever.

Today, work at the site begins at dawn. To make up for the time lost during the week of storms, Michel L'Hour decides to double the number of dives, working shifts during the day and throughout the night. There is still a quarter of the site to excavate and only 10 days left. Team members stop only when they are overcome with fatigue.

In the zone now being excavated, jars seem to be the catch of the day. It is still not clear what they were originally used for. Did some hold the crew's drinking water and food? Or were they filled with spices intended for the market at Brunei?

This question comes up again when the team pulls on board a number of jars that are far heavier than any brought up before. The mystery is soon cleared up. Hidden inside are dozens of little porcelain cups.

Michel L'Hour has found jarlets like these at other wreck sites, but never stored in such a manner. It is an unusual find.

The next vessel reveals thousands of glass beads for which a jewelry merchant was probably waiting. And from the last jar appear 85 tiny porcelain pots, some of which still have their lids.

MICHEL L'HOUR: I didn't realize that this type of large jar which was used to store a whole series of smaller objects existed. I know I've certainly never come across one before. It's really quite extraordinary and a real find.

JERZY GAWRONSKI: It's strange, because the jar probably originates from Thailand, and the little cups—they come from China. So how do little Chinese cups end up in a Thai jar?

NARRATOR: This unusual discovery hints that the ship may not have been loaded in China, but that the porcelain and the stoneware jars were collected at a single market in Southeast Asia and packed together before their journey to Brunei.

WANG GUNGWU: If the mixture includes Chinese, Vietnamese, and Thai goods, this would suggest that it came out of a port within Southeast Asia itself—very likely a port along the coast of Vietnam—or from Thailand. And there the Chinese porcelain could have been brought from China to the ports. And then, together with the local goods within Southeast Asia, sent on to Brunei.

NARRATOR: Where this cargo was originally packed and loaded may never be known. Nor may it ever be discovered how these beautiful pots first found their way out of China. Perhaps like many Chinese exports of that time they were smuggled out.

As the deadline looms for the end of the excavation, activity at the lab continues around the clock. Workers are inundated by an unrelenting stream of objects. In total, more then 15,000 different items will be recovered, making this excavation the largest archaeological study ever carried out in the China Sea.

And it is these 2000 jars that represent the bulk of the sunken vessel's cargo. Despite the beauty of the porcelain, it is the jars that have made the biggest impression on some. Their sheer number surprises even a specialist as experienced as Marie-France Dupoizat.

MARIE-FRANCE DUPOIZAT (Ceramics Specialist): We don't know about many shipwrecks of this period, so we were really amazed to find so many jars in this one.

NARRATOR: Stoneware containers like these were once common throughout Southeast Asia.

MARIE-FRANCE DUPOIZAT: People living inland knew how to make earthenware objects, but they did not know how to produce stoneware. This type of jar was completely alien to their culture.

NARRATOR: With rounded, almost human-looking shapes, these jars, which arrived in the thousands on the island of Borneo, represented more than mere containers. Like porcelain, they too had mystical properties.

MARIE-FRANCE DUPOIZAT: We know that the inland populations appreciated jars enormously. To such an extent that some jars were used for everyday purposes, whereas others had ritual uses. Some jars could be traded for 25 or even 30 buffalo. At the end of the 19th century, an English Raja returning to England kidnapped some jars to ensure that the tribal chiefs kept the peace in his absence.

NARRATOR: So, many of the jars loaded onto the Brunei junk may have become objects used in worship. Perhaps this was where the junk's treasure lay. In the eyes of some native peoples, these jars were more valuable than anything else in the world.

During the final week of excavation, all visible traces of the cargo have been removed. But there are still artifacts buried in the mud, which the divers uncover using a suction dredge.

This exceptional collection will never see the auction block. To avoid the vital loss of information that occurs every time a wreck site is looted, and its contents are dispersed on the private art market, the Sultan of Brunei is placing this treasure on permanent display in the capitol city of Bandar.

Michel L'Hour's efforts have paid off.

MICHEL L'HOUR: It really is an astonishing maritime story. A boat filled with cargo. The boat sinks. Five centuries later, the wreck provides us with a mass of data which we will be able to work on for years and years to come.

NARRATOR: The crucial end result of the laboratory work is the creation of an immense database of the wreck site. Every object is photographed, every detail, meticulously described. For the archaeologists, this database is the real treasure—a virtual museum that can be copied and shared for years to come.

Even the site as it first appeared to the divers has been carefully recorded. Using a new imaging technique, Jerzy Gawronski grabs single frames from a video that was shot prior to the excavation. With each still image overlapping the next, the computer then glues these snapshots together, forming a seamless panoramic view of the wreck. When it is complete, this photographic mosaic will allow archaeologists to visualize the site in its original state, helping to preserve what is always lost following an excavation.

JERZY GAWRONSKI: Archaeology, in fact, is destruction. As soon as you start excavating you disturb the original situation, and by raising the finds from their original position you leave a hole. And when the diver is finished with this square there is nothing left on the seabed.

NARRATOR: At the end of the excavation, they had succeeded in retrieving everything. The ship's hull, which they thought might be buried in the mud, was never found, making it impossible to identify its original port of origin or to know, ultimately, why it sank.

Six months following their departure from Brunei, Michel and Jerzy return to France to study the information gathered from the wreck site.

As the divers removed each layer of the cargo, they recorded the location of the finds using the metal reference grids. This information makes it possible to reconstruct an accurate picture of the vessel and the original placement of the jars and porcelain in its hold. The artifacts were found spread out symmetrically on either side of a central axis corresponding to the boat's keel.

With the evidence collected, the archaeologists now work out how the cargo was distributed and calculate the size of the vessel. It appears to have been packed to capacity, perhaps dangerously so, in a ship that measured about 90 feet long and 30 feet wide. The even distribution of objects in its hold confirms earlier clues that suggest the cargo was loaded all at one time, before its final journey to Brunei.

The Brunei shipwreck marks the end of an era, a time when Asian merchants would soon be overwhelmed by a more powerful trading force. In 1511, the first Portuguese caravels arrived, ending a chapter in history in which trade in Asia was driven by Asia alone.

But this past is not gone forever. Hundreds of ships from Asia's golden age still remain, lost at the bottom of the sea.

Many wrecks will be found, and plundered. But others, like the wreck at Brunei, will be preserved and studied, kept alive to reveal even more about the astonishing civilization that flourished here centuries ago.

How do experts date ancient porcelain? On NOVA's Website, try your hand at estimating the age of an authentic Chinese artifact. We'll show you how at or American Online, keyword PBS.

To order this show or any other NOVA program, for $19.95 plus shipping and handling, call WGBH Boston Video, at 1-800-255-9424.

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Major funding for NOVA is provided by the Park Foundation, dedicated to education and quality television.

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And by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and by contributions to your PBS station from viewers like you. Thank you.

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Sultan's Lost Treasure

Narrated by David Ogden Stiers

Produced, Directed, and Narration Written by
Stephen Sweigart

Edited by
Stephanie Munroe
Annie Coppens

Associate Producers
Jennifer Callahan
Marti Louw

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Roch Pescadère
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Special Thanks
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Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institute
Sociedad Estatal Quinto Centenario
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His majesty Sultan Haji
Hassanal Bolkiah
Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah
Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan
Haji Omar'Ali Saifuddien
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