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Flying Elephant of Lena Shoal

Flying Elephant of Lena Shoal

Flying Elephant of Lena Shoal is an artifact dish. It was retrieved from the Lena Shoal wreck site of a Chinese trading vessel. It is considered a national cultural treasure in the Philippines. It was created during the Middle Ming dynasty (circa 1490). [2] It is one of only two pieces ever recovered from the Lena Shoal wreck site, along with San Diego's astrolabe. [1]


The Flying Elephant of Lena Shoal was discovered in 1997 by Franck Goddio with the Far Eastern Foundation for Nautical Archeology (FEFNA).

[2] It was retrieved from theLena Shoalwreck site in 1997 o n Calauit Island, Palawan.

Along with this piece, other artifacts from the Chinese vessel were recovered in conjunction with the National Museum of the Philippines.

[0] [3]


The Flying Elephant of Lena Shoal is a blue-and-white dish made out of porcelain. In its center, there is a flying elephant design walking over a stormy sea. The piece also contains black and brown spots in the paste as well as a lotus scroll with pointed leaves on the rim. [0]

One archaeologist makes the inference that the patterns in the dish were created to sell to someone within the Islamic market.

He also suggested that the elephant symbol may be a "wedding present to a couple hoping for a boy child."



Citation Linkfilipiknow.netPhilippine Trivia
Nov 9, 2018, 10:13 AM
Citation Linkfilipino-association.orgDescription of two of the Philippines' Archeological Treasures
Nov 9, 2018, 5:20 PM
Citation Linkbooks.google.comTreasure Ships of the Philippines (by Tom Bennett; published in 2016)
Nov 9, 2018, 5:32 PM