A group of archeologists from Yogyakarta have discovered ancient Chinese ceramic artifacts estimated to date from between the 13th and 16th century AD in the waters around Genting Island, off the coast of the Central Java town of Jepara.
Head of the team, Priyatno Hadi Sulistyarto, said Friday the findings indicated that the Java Sea was a busy international trade route.
"From the features of the artifacts, which depict animal and flower motifs, albeit not so detailed, we assume the commodities were manufactured as mass products. They have characteristics commonly found in the Ming Dynasty," Priyatno said.
The 16 member team includes three underwater archeologists. A dive master from the Association of Indonesian Diving Sports was hired to lead the underwater search.
The artifacts were located 200 meters from the coast, at a depth of between two and 2.5 meters.
Local resident Suminto, 28, said people on the island were aware of the artifacts for a long time but did not think they were historical items.
Priyatno said his team was originally searching for a shipwreck around Genting Island and the remaining parts of Karimunjawa Islands.
--The Jakarta Post/ANN