The cargo

A large part of the main cargo of the Cirebon consists of ceramics of Chinese origin: around 205,000 objects have been listed. Unsurprisingly for the period, the majority of these are stoneware from the kilns of the south-east: Zhejiang (Yue and Longquan) and probably Fujian and Guangdong too – this will have to be verified – which produced pieces for everyday domestic use, more roughly shaped and less carefully made with materials of poorer quality than the stoneware known as Yue.

Far fewer in number (around 4,000), the pieces that clearly came from China’s northern kilns – essentially white porcelainous stoneware – will be presented later.

Without entering into a premature analysis here, it should be remembered that the simultaneous presence of stoneware from the kilns in south-east China and north China (probably Xing and Ding) had already been reported in the cargoes of Belitung (ca. 826), and Intan (ca. 925) and that the ceramics produced at these two sites were much in demand in international trading until the 13th century.