Relics unearthed at the To Kwa Wan station site of the MTR Shatin-Central Link project may cast light on Hong Kong’s role in the maritime trade along the ancient Silk Road route, Apple Daily reported Monday, citing Secretary for Home Affairs Tsang Tak-sing.
A large portion of the relics found at the site could be traced to the Song Dynasty, including Zhejiang Longquan kiln, Fujian Cizao kiln and Putian porcelain, he said.
Hong Kong may not have been mentioned in the history of the maritime route, but the territory served as one of the stations along the Silk Road, Tsang said, referring to the ancient trade route that ran from China to as far as Europe, Central Asia and Africa.
Tsang said Guangzhou was one of the ports of departure for the old maritime trade, and Hong Kong served an important role as its outer harbor. During the Han Dynasty, for example, troops were stationed in Tuen Mun to protect traders plying the route.
So far, more than 200 archaeological finds, including ancient wells and sunken ships, had been found in Hong Kong, pointing to its role in the sea trade, the report said.
Tsang said the city will apply for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites relating to the Maritime Silk Road, adding that he hopes the discoveries will make Hong Kong people more proud of their city’s history and rich cultural heritage.
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