In the 13th century, Mongol leader and Chinese ruler Kublai Khan attempted to invade Japan. A witness to the ill-fated attempt may have been found off the coast of Nagasaki in the form of a nearly-intact Chinese ship.
The hull of the ship has been well preserved and is expected to give marine archaeologists a great deal of insight into 13th century shipbuilding techniques.
"I believe we will be able to understand more about shipbuilding skills at the time as well as the actual situation of exchanges in East Asia," University of the Ryukyus professor Yoshifumi Ikeda told reporters in Nagasaki. He added that the wreck likely remained relatively well preserved because it was buried under the sand.