900-Year-Old Ship Found in Rice Field

A sailing vessel believed to have sunk off the coast of India 900 years ago has been discovered buried under a rice field. Archaeologists working on an excavation in Thaikal in southern India have some mysteries to solve. The 900-year-old sailing ship they have discovered is made of local materials, but not by local artisans. The design may be Chinese, Japanese, Egyptian, or even Arabic. And how did the ship come to be buried in a rice field?

"The base of the ship is intact," said PK Gopi, head of the Centre for Heritage Studies. "We have also unearthed many wooden portions, seven small wooden shelves, different types of shells, pieces of ropes and bamboo from the vessel."

The Centre for Heritage Studies has conducted the excavation and plans to host a conference in January.