Archaeologists have uncovered a shipwreck buried under silt and mud that dates back around 700 years to a time when the descendants of Genghis Khan ruled China, sometimes from their palace at Xanadu.
Although China was ruled by the Mongols Chinese culture flourished at this time and the art and artifacts found in the 70-foot-long (21 meters) wooden shipwreck show motifs that were popular in China.
These include a colorful jar depicting a dragon and phoenix.
The ship, which the archaeologists believe was used for river journeys, was found at a modern day construction site and had a hull sectioned into 12 cabins by 12 bulkheads, wrote the team of archaeologists led by Shougong Wang, of the Shandong Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology, in a paper published recently in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics.
[See Images of the Shipwreck Remains and Artifacts]
Dating to the Yuan dynasty (circa 1271-1368), the ship held a shrine, a captain's cabin, crew quarters, cargo compartments and a control room that doubled as a kitchen, the archaeologists said in their paper.