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Godawaya - the earliest shipwreck found in the Asia-Pacific region

Author(s): Wijamunige Chandraratne

Year: 2013

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The Maritime Archaeology Unit of Sri Lanka first discovered this wooden wreck in 2008. The site is resting at a depth of 35 meters, close to the ancient Godawaya port in Southern Sri Lanka. Field research has been conducted to investigate and record the site.  According to the recent analysis of this wooden wreck, it dates back to the 1st century AD, and it is considered as the oldest underwater archaeological site in the Asia-Pacific region. It is a unique shipwreck with no known parallels, and will undeniably help us to understand seafarers pf the period and their boat building traditions, as well as fill in the gaps of our knowledge regarding early historic trade. The paper discusses the research carried out during the last three years, and the comparative and laboratory dating of the artifacts found from the site.

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Cite this Record

Godawaya - the earliest shipwreck found in the Asia-Pacific region. Wijamunige Chandraratne. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Leicester, England, U.K. 2013 ( tDAR id: 428496)


Black & Red Ware Shipwrecks Trade roots

Geographic Keywords
Asia Sri Lanka

Temporal Keywords
1st century AD

Spatial Coverage

min long: 79.698; min lat: 5.918 ; max long: 81.891; max lat: 9.825 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 542

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America