The cargo

This part of the cargo includes mirrors (Chinese and Indonesian in type), statuettes and ritual objects (from the Buddhist and Hindu religions), and some ornamental items.

The majority of the metal objects in the Cirebon cargo have suffered severe corrosion due to being submersed in seawater for nearly a thousand years. However, one cannot rule out the possibility that some of these objects were already in a corroded or broken state when embarked and that they were regarded as raw materials to be melted down once they reached their destination rather than everyday or ritual objects intended for sale as such. Only a more thorough study of the cargo will allow us to support or rule out this hypothesis.

Due to strong concretion formation, the major part of these objects has lost their original finish. Some have been restored, consolidated and especially stabilized, under the supervision of Olivier Berger over a brief period of study at the excavation storage depot in Jakarta in spring 2006.

A small laboratory has been installed on the spot and several people trained with the treatments of conservation in order to stabilize the whole collection of metal.