Seminar on Guangzhou and Maritime Silk Road in Tang and Song Dynasties Held in Guangzhou


From October 10 to 13, 2021, the seminar titled “Guangzhou and Maritime Silk Road in Tang and Song Dynasties” was held at the Guangzhou Maritime Museum. It aims to deepen and intensify studies on Guangzhou and Maritime Silk Road during the Tang and Song dynasties and improve communications of brand-new discoveries and research achievements on shipwreck archaeology and unearthed cultural relics in China and abroad. The seminar gathered almost 50 experts in the field of history, archaeology and museology.

The seminar reveals the significance of the Maritime Silk Road of the Tang and Song dynasties both in the modern and historical context and the glorious maritime history and deep cultural roots of Guangzhou, from the respects of pattern, network, intersection, technology, commodity, population, regulation and culture. Topics for discussion cover works of literature and documents of the Maritime Silk Road, trading markets, harbor policies, spiritual beliefs by the sea and related archaeological discoveries.

Guangzhou was a world-famous oriental harbor during the Tang and Song dynasties, a major hub for worldwide merchants and domestic and foreign products, where merchandise was gathered and later distributed in or out of China. The Maritime Silk Road reached its peak during the Tang and Song dynasties. In the Tang dynasty, the government set up Shi Bo Si (Bureau for Foreign Trade) in Guangzhou for the first time in history to manage all the overseas trading activities, which marked the beginning of ancient China’s management system for foreign trade. The Song dynasty adopted Tang’s system and issued Regulations on International Trade in Guangzhou, spreading the management system to other harbors in China.