According to experts, however, the porcelain from the Sao Joao dates to the Jiajing period, 1522-1566: (Ming dynasty).Porcelain was also carried for the export trade market: the Portuguese were the first seafaring people to reach China via the Cape of Good Hope.Called rehydroxylation dating, the technique was recently developed by researchers at the University of Manchester and the University of Edinburgh.It takes advantage of ceramics’ predictable tendency to bond chemically with water over time.“It’s simple,” says Bowen. This removes any dampness that the ceramic might have absorbed.
Patrick Bowen, a senior majoring in materials science and engineering at Michigan Technological University, is refining a new way of dating ceramic artifacts that could one day shave thousands of dollars off the cost of doing archaeological research.
Nearly 500 years after the Sao Joao was wrecked (1552), pieces of porcelain continue to be found on beaches near Port Edward, Natal - the location of the wreck according to current research.
In fact, typical blue-and-white Chinese porcelain shards occur at 10 locations along this south-eastern coast of South Africa.
For 18 years, people drove out to the scenic expanse of ocean cliffs, marvelled at the beauty of the natural world and the majesty of the depths, and then threw all their shit in.
Eventually, California realized that dumping automobiles, appliances, toxic substances and razor sharp shards of glass into the water was probably a bad idea, and looked elsewhere for a dumping site.
“The dating process turns out to be more complicated than the literature suggests,” he says.