The 25m-long, 3,800-ton Nanhai No 1 is believed to be a merchant vessel that operated between the southern Chinese region and the rest of the world.
It appeared unexpectedly in August 1987, when the Guangzhou Salvage Bureau and a British crew were searching for a 17th century Dutch shipwreck near the Shangchuan and Xiachuan islands. The grab buckets brought up more than 200 pieces of broken porcelain and metal wares.
In 1989, along with Japanese archaeologists, Zhang Wei was among the first to touch to the Nanhai No 1.
The research was suspended for a decade due to a shortage of funds and labor until Zhang received funding from the Hong Kong Underwater Archaeology Association in 2001. The boat was located the same year.
After receiving aid from the Ministry of Finance, archaeologists spent three years surveying the ship, starting in 2002.
In 2007, Nanhai No 1 was salvaged from the sea.
There are probably 50,000 to 70,000 relics on the boat, archaeologists estimate.
Source: China Daily