Left: Bowl, 9th century, Abbasid period. F1966.11. Right: Dish with overlapping lozenge motif from the Belitung wreck.

A bowl from Abbasid Iraq (left) and a Chinese dish found on the wreck (right) share a color scheme and foliage motifs.

Asian Empires

Ninth-century Asia was dominated by the Tang Empire in the east and the Abbasid Empire in the west. The expanding sea trade between them aided the rise of Srivijaya, a maritime power that controlled the narrow sea lanes now dominated by modern Singapore.