Ancient Ship Identified
The ancient vessel discovered off South Korea’s Mado Island in November 2014 has been confirmed to be a Joseon Dynasty grain carrier. The Joseon Dynasty was a Korean kingdom founded by Yi Seonggye that lasted for from 1392 to 1897 when it was renamed the Korean Empire. The vessel, which is named the Mado No. 4, was discovered by the National Research Institute of Maritime Cultural Heritage. This is the first ship confirmed to be from the dynasty’s epoch.
The vessel’s confirmation as Joseon era ship was due to 140 pieces of Buncheong ceramics discovered during the excavation. Buncheong ceramics were produced during the first 200 years of the dynasty. Some of the ceramics are engraved with the abbreviation “Naeseom,” which refers to Naeseomsi, a government organization that oversaw items used in the royal court.
The Mado No. 4 is the 14th ancient ship discovered by South Korea. Ten ships from the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392), two were Chinese vessels from 14th century, and a ship from Korea’s Silla Period (676-935) have been discovered thus far.