They Don't Build 'Em Like They Used To

A well-preserved shipwreck is discovered near Nagasaki, Japan.


Large parts of a Mongolian ship presumed to have been part of a 13th-century Yuan Dynasty-era invasion fleet have been discovered on the seafloor near Nagasaki, Japan. The wreck is remarkably well preserved and is the first physical evidence of Mongolian invasion attempts on Japan during the rule of Kublai Khan, between 1274 and 1281. Archaeologists located the complete hull roughly three feet below the seabed, and in about 75 feet of water off Takeshima Island. The ship will be lifted and fully restored and should reveal much that was previously unknown about 13th-century shipbuilding. The team has already noted that the planking was held together by nails. Weaponry, bricks (used as ballast) and pottery dated to the Yuan Dynasty were also found with the ship’s wreckage. Historical accounts reported that some 4,400 Mongolian ships sank off of the coast of Takeshima during Khan’s ill-fated mission to invade Japan.