Model of Country Passage Boat (99-12-60/52933)

View of country passage boat model, PM 99-12-60/52933. Photo by Destiny Nunley.
Details of country passage boat model. Photo by Destiny Nunley.
Detail view of country passage boat model. Photo by Mitch Klug.
Detail view of country passage boat model. Photo by Kit Metoyer.
Detail of sail. Photo by Kit Metoyer.

Our group was assigned the China Country Passage Boat. Due to research it can be inferred that the boat was actually a junk ship, of China, due to its build, materials, and artwork. On the side of the boat, yin and yang symbols are painted throughout. This, along with the single-mast and wooden construction helps date the boat to anywhere around the third and fourth century B.C. as the “The earliest mention of yin and yang is recorded in the Guo Yu (the Conversations of States).” The flexibility of the design of the Chinese Junk ships made it possible for this type of boat to be used for multiple things: ocean-going, cargo-carrying, pleasure, and sailing. Click to read more.

Destiny Nunley


The model of a country passage boat offers insight into the history of maritime in Asia. The boat is detailed with Asian characters on the stern and a graphic of a tiger on the bow. While the Asian characters might offer insight into the history of the boat, they have not been translated yet. Additionally, the photo of the tiger was interpreted using the history of Asia, specifically southeastern China, and adds historical significance to the use of the boat as a trading vessel as well as a possible time stamp of roughly the seventeenth to mid-nineteenth century. With little information available on this specific model, initial research was based on historical associations that will presumably drive the remaining research. Click to read more.

Mitch Klug


So far, early in this process, I found this first part to be challenging but interesting. I found it to be challenging because with just a ship model to work on, recognizing a ship and establishing its origin was difficult. Essentially, I took a shot in the dark. However, I feel confident about my inferences based on the couple of historical references I used. I believe the ship construction closely mirrors that of a Chinese junk ship. What drew my interest the most was the ensuring investigation that revolved around the culture of the ship, who used it, and its important role in the trade activities of the Song Dynasty in the 11th and 12th centuries. As mentioned before I found the research process to be a challenge because of the minimal available clues (we know it is a country passage boat). However, as I continue down this road I am confident I will be able to arrive at more conclusions surrounding the history of my boat. Click to read more.

Kit Metoyer


Content of this page provided by students of Anthro 1218: Shipwrecks and Seafarers, Piracy and Plundering: An Introduction to Maritime Archaeology.