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More shipwrecks lurk off Sabah
Published on: Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Kota Kinabalu: More ancient shipwrecks could still be lying off Kudat where remnants of a Sung Dynasty ship was found.

Sabah Museum Director Joanna Kitingan on Monday believed remnants of more ships could still be found near the area as Kudat had an important historic role in the North Borneo trade.

Permit to salvage the sunken ship was given to Nanhai Marine Archaeology Sdn Bhd by the Sabah Museum the same year after it was discovered by fishermen in March 2003.

It is known as the Tanjung Simpang shipwreck.

"The process of salvaging the sunken Chinese ship has been carried out for some time now …. we have already collected all the artefacts from the ship," she said.


Based on Nanhai Marine Archaeology's website, the Tanjung Simpang shipwreck site was heavily looted by local fishermen when it was found.

Several dedicated websites also confirmed some of the ceramics have made their way to antique shops in the city.

More than 800 ceramic and non- ceramic items were salvaged from a depth of 400 metres from the Tanjung Simpang Mengayau shore at the northern tip of Borneo.

The Sung pottery from the Tanjung Simpang shipwreck dates back to 960-1127 A.D., the oldest shipwreck on Malaysian waters, compared to other ships which pre-dates 1300AD.


According to Joanna, all the salvaged artefacts are now placed at the State Museum here until the Kudat Museum is opened, where it will be relocated permanently.

She, however, did not confirm when.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman earlier said the discovery of the Tanjung Simpang shipwreck if promoted would be able to attract more visitors to Sabah.

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