YUE WARE SPHERICAL JARS IN NETTING FROM CIREBON WRECK. PHOTO COURTESY PROF QIN DASHU – TAASA Review December 2014
The importance of Sri Vijaya is corroborated by the official Song Dynasty history, which records that the kingdom sent 14 diplomatic and trade missions to the Song court in the period 962-1008, bringing tribute including ivory, rhinoceros horn, pearls, incense, frankincense, mastic, rose perfume, crystal, Buddhist sutras, textiles, lamp oil, glass perfume bottles, coral, dates, peaches, granulated sugar and (possibly) African slaves.
Some of these products clearly originated from Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, and were held, along with local and Chinese goods, in special state warehouses for trade goods. All of these products have been found in shipwrecks of the period investigated by archaeologists.
The Belitung wreck was of an Arab-type ship identified as the Batu Hitam, dated to around 826...